It costs $15,000 to $20,000 to run the annual Milford St. Patrick’s Day parade, which is one of Milford’s biggest annual events, drawing an estimated 20,000 spectators.

The funds pay for police, various marching bands, insurance, and other parade-related costs.

Two fund-raisers help generate the money needed for the event: one is an annual dinner, which was held Feb. 18 in Stratford, and the other one, a breakfast, is coming up.

The two events together typically bring in about $4,000, said Marty Hardiman, parade organizer. The rest comes from downtown businesses, and organizations like the Irish Heritage Society. This year, several downtown restaurants will hold fund-raisers after the parade to help bring in money.

The dinner and breakfast are as much tradition as they are ways to fund the parade.

This year’s breakfast will be held March 4, from 8 to noon, at the Masonic Hall on Broad Street, next to Milford Bank.

Breakfast, which costs $8, will include pancakes, sausages, eggs, pastries, coffee, tea, and juice.

All the money raised will go toward the parade, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, at 1 p.m. in downtown Milford. Hardiman said the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee decided to raise the cost for breakfast this year from $7 to $8 to generate more revenue for the event.

The two top dignitaries of this year’s Milford St. Patrick’s Day parade are Emily Mager, who is Miss Emerald Isle, and Michael McCabe, grand marshal.

Emily, 16, is a junior at Foran High School. McCabe, an attorney, is president of the Irish Heritage Society and in 2016 was named the club’s Irish man of the year.

Emily and McCabe will be leading the parade when it steps off from the Parsons Government Center and makes its way past the gazebo on the Broad Street green.

“We may not have the oldest parade,” McCabe said last week when he received his parade sash during the annual dinner ceremony. “We may not have the longest parade. We may not have the most famous parade. But we have the finest St. Patrick’s parade in this state.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the parade may call Hardiman at 203-878-2865.