West Hartford’s 17th Annual Park Road Parade will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, followed by dedication of the memorial clock for the late Richard Patrissi, the ‘unofficial mayor’ of Park Road.
Submitted by the Town of West Hartford
Bring the whole family to the 17th annual Park Road Parade on Saturday, October 18, 2014. The one-hour parade steps off at 10:30 a.m., at Ringgold Street and ends at South Quaker Lane. The parade is free and open to all.
Nearly 100 contingents are expected to march in this year’s parade. The parade features bands, clowns, dancers, floats, antique cars, dogs of all shapes and sizes, sports cars, mascots, 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.
A parade would not be complete without music. The 2014 Park Road Parade will feature the University of Hartford’s Brazilian Samba Band, Hall High School 9th Grade and King Phillip Middle School 8th Grade combined band, Colonel John Chester Fire & Drum Corps, Connecticut Valley Field Music, Manchester Regional Police & Fire Pipe Band, Sphinx Shriner Band, the Windsor Fife & Drum, and The Boys of Wexford, who will also perform at Effie’s Restaurant, 91 Park Road, after the parade. The Boys of Wexford are a group of men and women who play and sing Irish music, Americana, sea shanties, and folk music.
Awards are given each year to Best Float, Best Overall Performance, Best Costume, Best Musical Performance, and Best Community Spirit. Tracy Flater, Darlene Zoller and Sean Harris of the Playhouse on Park will be judging. West Hartford Community TV will be airing the parade live on Comcast Channel 5.
A parade of this magnitude involves a lot of volunteers and sponsors. The 2014 sponsors are Webster Bank, Farmington Savings Bank, Udolf Properties, Westfarms Mall, Sparkle West, LLC, Effie’s Place Family Restaurant, West Hartford Police Association, Thomas Fahy Associates, Body and Sole Day Spa, ProHealth Physicians Express Care, Doctors Express Urgent Care, Joey’s Garlic Pizza, Plan B Restaurant, Rockville Bank, Molloy Funeral Home, Fresh Ink and Steben Auto Body & Glass. A big “thank you” goes out to all of them.
Immediately following the parade, Richard Patrissi will be honored by the community at a ceremony to unveil a large memorial clock near the Playhouse on Park. Everyone is welcome. Richard Patrissi was known by many as the unofficial Mayor of Park Road. He took great pride and joy in this parade. This memorial clock is West Hartford’s way of saying, “Thank You Richard.”
The genesis of the Park Road Parade started in 1998 as a celebration to 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.