All things green and shamrock prevail at Milford St. Patrick’s Day parade
Kayley Myers, 6, came to the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in orange braids and wearing furry green leggings, along with a slew of other not so subtle accessories that screamed, “I’m Irish.”
Everyone was Irish at Saturday’s parade — if not in their ancestry, then in their hearts — and everyone had their favorites among the floats, bands, bagpipers, marchers and other performers.
“I like seeing the cars go by with people in them because they go by and wave,” Kayley said.
Emrys Murray, 7, said what he likes best is, “That they throw out candy.”
Emrys, who also is of Irish ancestry, played a green plastic trumpet and waved a small Irish flag — downsized from last year’s larger flag, which kept hitting people, his mom, Christine Murray, said.
“We’re Irish — we like to come every year and watch the floats,” she said.
Parade organizers predicted it would be the biggest parade yet in the events’ 28-year history and that appeared to be accurate.
Thousands of spectators, in some areas eight-deep, lined the streets and city Green in just about every green or shamrock clothes, accessories and design imaginable — scarves, sunglasses, tights, skirts, socks, fingernail patterns, face paints.
There were some 2,000 participants and they too were outfitted to the Irish nines.
Although there are other parades going on last weekend, including a big St. Patrick’s parade in New Haven Sunday, organizers here have billed Milford’s parade as more family friendly, with less shenanigans and no drinking.
John Kleinman, who was at Saturday’s parade with his three children, ages 5, 7 and 12, said they’ll skip New Haven Sunday and make Milford their holiday celebration event.
“This parade has a nice community flair, from those watching to those marching,” he said. “We don’t need to overdo it.”
The Milford parade was led by city and state leaders, including Mayor Ben Blake, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, D-3, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, and state Sen. Gayle Slossberg, who announced Friday she will not run for re-election.
This year’s Grand Marshal was attorney Michael McCabe, who is president of the Irish Heritage Society of Milford. This year’s Miss Emerald Isle was Emily Mager.
The Milford parade was begun 28 years ago by two women who wanted to celebrate their Irish-ness and those first years drew about 200 spectators. Today, the parade route draws some 20,000 spectators from all around the area.