Thursday, February 22, 2007

West End Loses St. Patrick’s Parade

Organizers of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade plan to start the parade this year at Commercial and Center Streets, in the vicinity of Becky’s Diner and the Casco Bay Bridge, and end the event in the city’s East End, at the Maine State Pier or at RiRa’s Pub on Commercial Street. The parade has traditionally wound through the City’s West End and ended with a ceremony at Harborview Park on York Street. Last year, for the first time, the parade began on India Street and marched west along Commercial Street before ending with a ceremony at Gorham’s Corner.

According to the Maine Irish Heritage Center’s website, the March 17th festivities will begin at 12:30 PM with an Irish flag-raising and memorial to West End activist Eddie Murphy at Harborview Park. Immediately following what is being billed as “the Governor's Toast at the Icehouse” at 1:40 PM, the Governor's entourage will walk down under the Casco Bay Bridge to meet up with the parade at Center Street & Commercial. The parade will kick off at 2 PM, marching east on Commercial Street ending at Maine State Pier or Ri Ra’s.

Parade organizer Robert O’Brien said that he tried to get the Maine Irish Heritage Center to host the old processional from the front steps of St. Dominic’s down to Harborview Park, but the Center is “too overwhelmed these days.” O’Brien said that may happen next year, but some local residents are making plans to follow the old route this year. (Editor's note: After this week's newspaper went to press, O'Brien announced that there would be a procession from the steps of St. Dominic's to Harborview Park, starting at 12 Noon.

Governor John Baldacci has been invited to the event, but has not yet responded, according to O’Brien. The governor usually participates in the St. Patrick’s Day celebration and ends his visit to Portland with a celebratory Coca Cola at Popeye’s Ice House.


Blogger Gerry said...

It was really nice to receive all the valuable information regarding the famous St. Patrick's day parade....may be you too can drop in by my blog and check the latest news that I have to share. Wish you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day

23 February, 2007 02:26  

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