The most Irish town in America still has a way to go in raising funds for its St. Patrick’s Day parade, scheduled to be held this year on March 20.
Scituate, Massachusetts, a seaside town about 30 miles from Boston, was named the most Irish town in America in 2011 when data from the 2010 census revealed that 47.5% of the population is of Irish descent. Many of the nearby towns along the South Shore, once referred to as the Irish Rivera, also exceptionally high percentages of residents with Irish roots.
The parade has hung in the balance since the fall, apparently, when the Scituate Chamber of Commerce, which had been the parade’s longtime sponsor, announced that it had to bow out.
It remained without a sponsor until earlier this month, when the Scituate Harbor Business Association stepped up to the plate as the parade’s main charitable sponsor.
However, as parade chairman Ed Kelly told Wicked Local, the Scituate Harbor Business Association is not paying for the St. Patrick’s Day parade directly; rather, they are hosting fundraising events and sourcing donations to cover the parade’s bills.
“[The parade] will happen if we raise enough money,” Kelley said. “I’ve been running around delivering the paperwork to possible corporate sponsors. Other people are out knocking on doors.”
According to the parade’s website, it started out many years ago as a small neighborhood production, with a few local bands and homemade floats proceeding around a block in Scituate’s Minot neighborhood.
It then moved to a larger parade route in Scituate Harbor, and over the last 20 years has quintupled in size to become the largest St. Patrick's Day parade on the South Shore; a lively procession of bands, floats, vintage cars and Irish dancers.
In the coming weeks, the parade committee will be hosting a number of fundraising events to raise sufficient funds, including a Mad Hatter’s Ball, a Grand Marshal Dinner where the parade’s leader will be selected, in addition to sales of parade merchandise with a new official logo.
Kelly also told Wicked Local that donation thermometers would be put up around Scituate, to keep residents informed of the fundraising progress.
You can visit the parade’s website here: www.weloveaparade.com