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18th Annual Park Road Parade Is Saturday

One of several clowns in West Hartford's 2014 Park Road Parade. Photo credit: Ronni Newton.

The 18th Annual Park Road Parade will begin at the intersection of Park Road and Ringgold Street and end at South Quaker Lane on Saturday, Oct.3, 2015.

Whiting Lane Elementary School float. Scenes from West Hartford's 2014 Park Road Parade. Photo credit: Ronni Newton.

Whiting Lane Elementary School float. Scenes from West Hartford’s 2014 Park Road Parade. Photo credit: Ronni Newton.

Submitted by the Town of West Hartford

Bring the whole family to the 18th annual Park Road Parade on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. The one-hour parade steps off at 10:30 a.m., at Ringgold Street and ends at South Quaker Lane.

More than 100 contingents are expected to march in this year’s parade. The parade features bands, clowns, dancers, floats, dogs of all shapes and sizes, antique cars, color guards, businesses, civic and cultural organizations and town and state officials. Each year the parade draws over 7,000 people to Park Road neighborhood.

This year’s Grand Marshals are Dennis House and Kara Sundlun of Eyewitness News 3. Kara Sundlun is a two-time Emmy-award winning journalist. You can catch her live every weekday as the co-host of Better Connecticut with Scot Haney at 3 p.m. She also anchors Eyewitness News at Noon.

Named one of the “12 Most Influential People” by Hartford Magazine, Eyewitness News anchor and Face the State moderator Dennis House has been a mainstay on Channel 3 since 1992. A native New Englander and Emmy award-winning journalist, Dennis co-anchors Eyewitness News at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 11 p.m.

A parade would not be complete without music. The 2015 Park Road Parade will feature the University of Hartford’s Brazilian Samba Band, Conard High School 9th Grade and Sedgwick Middle School 8th Grade combined band, Connecticut Valley Field Music, Manchester Regional Police & Fire Pipe Band, Sphinx Shriner Band, Funky Dawgz Brass Band, Hartford Hot Several Brass Band, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Golden Phoenix, Hartford’s Proud Drill Drum and Dance Corp., Sphinx Shriners False Alarmers, Windsor Fife & Drum and The Boys of Wexford.

Awards are given each year to Best Float, Best Overall Performance, Best Costume, Best Musical Performance, and Best Community Spirit.  Darlene Zoller and Sean Harris, co-artistic directors and founders of the Playhouse on Park, will be judging and emceeing the parade. West Hartford Community TV will be airing the parade live on Comcast Channel 5.

During the parade, the Boy Scouts of America will have three locations in which they will be selling popcorn: Steben Auto Body, Playhouse on Park and Effie’s Restaurant. Stop by and support the fundraising efforts of Boy Scout Troop 12 and Troop 44 and Cub Scout Troop 145.

Park Road Parade T-shirts will be for sale for $20 at these locations as well. Don’t forget to get yours!

The fun continues after the parade. Stop by Effie’s Restaurant, 91 Park Road, to meet and get autographs from the Snow Princesses Anna and Elsa of FROZEN from 11:50 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Immediately following, The Boys of Wexford will be singing Irish songs, sea shanties and folk music.

At a Strand Ahead salon, 100 Park Road, kids get to their favorite Super Heroes. There will be a drawing for door prizes too.

The Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Road, will be giving away free popcorn on their patio.  After the parade, children will have a chance to make a pig nose in celebration of their upcoming musical, The Three Little Pigs.

Near Steben Auto Body, 307 Park Rd., the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer will be hosting a bake sale, the Capitol Region Council of Governments will be conducting a public opinion survey and the West Hartford GOP Democrat Town Committee will be hosting an information table.

Doctors Express Urgent Care, ProHealth Physicians Express Care and Solar City will have information tables as well.

A parade of this magnitude involves a lot of volunteers and sponsors. A big “thank you” goes out to all of them. The 2015 sponsors are Effie’s Place Family Restaurant, Fresh Ink and Steben Auto Body & Glass, Sparkle West, LLC (Mr. Sparkle), Webster Bank, Farmington Bank, Westfarms, Open Arm’s Christian Ministries, West Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Roming Enterprises, West Hartford Travel Basketball, Joey’s of West Hartford, Doctor’s Express, ProHealth Express Care, Thomas Fahy Insurance Associates, Body & Sole Day Spa, Shop Rite, Molloy Funeral Home, Daly’s Package Store and Ed Connors Insurance.

Handicap parking is available at 120 Park Road. Public restrooms are located at Effie’s Restaurant, 91 Park Rd., A.C. Petersen Restaurant, 240 Park Rd., Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Rd., and Three Ladies Antiques, 328 Park Rd.

For more information, please call Renée McCue at 860-561-7521 or Tony Landino at 860-966-4582, or visit www.ParkRoadCT.com/events and Like Us on Facebook!

About the Parade:

The genesis of the Park Road Parade started in 1998 as a celebration of the completion of a two-year road reconstruction and beautification project which bonded both businesses and residents of the area. The project spanned Prospect Avenue to South Quaker Lane and included a new pavement, streetlights, and sidewalks. The theme then and now is to celebrate the neighborhood: its diversity of people, businesses and culture. Bring the whole family to this wonderful celebration of West Hartford!

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