The 20th annual Park Road Parade will kick off on Oct. 6, 2018, and will be preceded by a week-long celebration in the neighborhood.
By Ronni Newton
The first week of October will be a time for celebration all along Park Road, as businesses offer special events and promotions in preparation for the neighborhood’s annual signature event – the Park Road Parade.
This year is the 20th annual Park Road Parade, and more than 70 contingents will step off at 10:30 a.m. at Park Road and Ringgold Street for the hour-long parade that ends at South Quaker Lane and is traditionally attended by about 7,000 people.
Contingents include traditional parade participants like marching bands, drum corps, and state and town officials, as well as clowns, dancers, dogs of all shapes and sizes, and creative floats. Cultural organizations and civic groups from throughout the neighborhood, and antique cars also participate in the annual Park Road Parade.
According to organizers, musical groups include the University of Hartford’s Brazilian Samba Band, Hall High School 9th Grade and King Phillip Middle School 8th Grade combined band, Connecticut Valley Field Music, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Golden Phoenix, Hartford Hot Several Brass Band, Sphinx Shriner Brass Band, Manchester Regional Police & Fire Pipe Band, Windsor Fife & Drum, Colchester Fife & Drum, Rob the Drummer, False Alarmers of the Sphinx Shriners, and The Boys of Wexford.
Playhouse on Park’s Darlene Zoller and Sean Harris will emcee the parade, and also judge participants in categories that include Best Float, Best Overall Performance, Best Costume, Best Musical Performance, and Best Community Spirit. The parade will be aired live on West Hartford Community Television.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, Plan B (138 Park Rd.) will be offering a parade day special beginning at 9 a.m. During the parade, viewers can enjoy free popcorn on the patio of Playhouse on Park (244 Park Rd.) or get their face painted at Zest 280 (280 Park Rd.)
Effie’s Place (91 Park Rd.) will be open for breakfast and lunch on parade day, with lots of board specials and mimosas. Diners can even watch the parade from the patio. Right after the parade, The Boys of Wexford will be at Effie’s singing Irish songs, sea shanties, and folk music.
The newly-opened Essential Health (74 Park Rd.) will hold an open house and offer discounts throughout the day on Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Visit the website for more details.
A Strand A Head Salon (100 Park Rd.) will be treating kids to complimentary hair feathers or “splash of color” and will also offer a social media raffle with hair goodies for those who “Like” their Facebook page. New clients will be eligible for $20 specials in honor of the 20th parade.
Leading up to the parade, from Oct. 1-6 many merchants will offer 20 percent savings off purchases (not combined with other discounts or offers) and other specials with the purchase of a Parade Days Discount Card. Click here to purchase a card and for more information.
Participating merchants include:
- A Strand A Head, 100 Park Rd., Unit D, 20 percent off all products
- Effie’s Place, 91 Park Rd., 20 percent off total bill
- Essential Health, 74 Park Rd., 20 percent off all new services & products
- European Tailoring, 316 Park Rd., 20 percent off all new alterations
- Fresh Ink, 216 Park Rd., 20 percent off West Hartford shirts
- Hair Design on Park LLC, 214 Park Rd., 20 percent off all products
- I Love Sushi, 278 Park Rd., 20 percent off orders over $25
- Pachanga Empanadas, Pop up out of 280 Park Rd., 20 percent off orders over $30
- Plan B Burger Bar, 138 Park Rd., 20 percent off total bill
- Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Rd., 20 percent off all tickets
- Que Fitness & Palliates, 276 Park Rd., 20 percent off five-session package
- Zest 280, 280 Park Rd., 20 percent off total bill
Throughout the rest of September and during the month of October, ShopRite (46 Kane St.) will be offering those returning bottles and cans at the store the opportunity to donate that money directly to the parade by selecting “Park Road Parade” on the machine.
Other Park Road Parade Days events include:
- Happy Hour at Park & Oak (14 Oakwood Ave.) on Thursday, Oct. 4, from 4-7 p.m. Handcrafted cocktails and assorted appetizers will be offered at a discounted price.
- Sew together fabric scraps to add to a community quilt at Hartford Stitch at 298 Park Rd. No previous experience needed, and instructors will show participants how to use a sewing machine and offer a choice of fabric scraps. Kids are welcome, but must be with a parent.
Organizers are thankful to the support of volunteers and sponsors that include: Effie’s Place Family Restaurant, LAZ Parking, Udolf Properties, Webster Bank, Fresh Ink and Sparkle West, LLC (Mr. Sparkle), Open Arms Christian Ministries, West Hartford Travel Basketball, Joey’s Pizza Pie, Body & Sole Day Spa, Shop Rite, West Hartford Police Association, Simsbury Bank, Fuller Yoga, Zest 280, Ringgold Crescent Partners, and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union.
On the day of the parade, handicap parking is available at 120 Park Rd. Spectators can find parking on Richard, Crosby, Gillette, and Ringgold Streets and Oakwood Avenue (south of Crosby Street). There is also ample parking on the arterial streets north of Boulevard between South Highland and South Quaker. Public restrooms are located at Effie’s Restaurant (91 Park Rd.), A.C. Petersen’s (240 Park Rd.), Playhouse on Park (244 Park Rd.), and Three Ladies Antiques (328 Park Rd.).
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