The 20th annual Park Road Parade will kick off on Oct. 5, 2019, and will include other celebrations by neighborhood businesses.
The first weekend 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 21st 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, Conard High School 9th Grade and Bristow Middle School 8th Grade combined band, Connecticut Valley Field Music, Hartford Hot Several Brass Band, Sphinx Shriner Brass Band, Manchester Regional Police & Fire Pipe Band, Windsor Fife & Drum, Colchester Fife & Drum, Sailing Masters of 1812, 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 Interactive (formerly West Hartford Community Television) online and on Comcast Channel 5.
Organizers are thankful to the support of volunteers and sponsors that include: Effie’s Place Family Restaurant, LAZ Parking, Open Arms Christian Ministries, AT&T, Shop Rite, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, West Hartford Travel Basketball, West Hartford Police Association, Joey’s Pizza Pie, Mr. Sparkle Car Wash, Pond House Café, Body & Sole Day Spa, Turnpike Motors Autobody, Coursey & Coursey Public Affairs Communications, Essence Health, Molloy Funeral Home, Liberty Bank, Lovely Real Estate dba Newport Realty Group, Northwestern Mutual, Udolf Properties, and United Bank.
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 Place (91 Park Rd.), A.C. Petersen’s (240 Park Rd.), Playhouse on Park (244 Park Rd.), and Three Ladies Antiques (328 Park Rd.).
According to organizers, Park Road Parade specials and discounts include:
Breakfast at Plan B, 138 Park Rd.
Starting at 10 a.m., Plan B Burger will have bacon, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches and coffee for $5 out on the patio. They will also be opening for full service at 11 a.m. Any volunteers or participants in the parade will be given a 20% discount on their food.
The White Rabbit, 214 Park Rd.
The White Rabbit Antiques will have 25-50% off all clothing, shoes, and accessories sale on parade day.
Park Road Car Wash, 48 Park Rd.
Save 50% on any tunnel car wash at the Park Road Car Wash when you mention you watched the parade! Saturday, Oct. 5 only.
Playhouse on Park, 244 Park Rd.
Free popcorn during and after the parade. Also, stop by between noon and 1 p.m. (after the parade) and purchase tickets for the 2 p.m. or 8 p.m. performance of Nunsense for only $10 (cash only; while seats are available).
Pachanga Empanadas Argentina, 280 Park Rd.
Pachanga will be open during and after the parade. The restaurant is also offering “10% off your next visit” coupons, while supplies last.
Fabulous Bohemian Fall Pop-Up Festival on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5
Family fun is on tap for the Fabulous Bohemian Fall Pop-Up Festival on Friday, Oct. 4, 5-7 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The festival takes place corner of Park Road and Washington Circle, next to A. C. Petersen Farms Restaurant.
On Friday, Oct. 4, from 5-7 p.m., enjoy a pre-event party with a photo booth and gallery sales. There will be live DJ music, chair massage, and a selfie station.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m., there will be a bouncy house for the kids, ice cream next door at A.C. Petersen’s Restaurant, craft vendors, vintage clothing and objet d’art, art gallery, food trucks, face painting and henna painting, chair massages and wellness demos, DJ and live music, treasure hunt, and an apple pie eating contest at 5 p.m. where teams of five contestants compete for the title of fastest pie eater. Click here to register and details. Deadline to register is Oct. 3, at 4 p.m.
In addition, 10% of proceeds from the Gallery Tent art sale will go to the Park Road Association. Bounce house donations will go to Hands ON Hartford to support their food and housing initiatives. For more information on this event, email [email protected].
A Strand A Head, 100 Park Rd., Unit D
Stop by 100D Park Road on parade day and take part in the “Under the Sea Social Media Contest.” Let us “sea” your selfie posts with one of our under the sea characters in the parade and you will have a chance to win a $50 Gift Card, see instructions below.
In addition, A Strand A Head is offering a Park Road Parade special to new clients during the month of October. In celebration of the 21st parade, the salon is offering $21 haircuts and $21 wash & blowouts! (Appointments are required and limited.)
Here’s how to enter the Selfie contest!
- Take a selfie with one of our characters at any time on the parade day.
- Post on Facebook, Instagram & SnapChat.
- Tag @astrandahead @parkroadparade #astrandahead #parkroadparade
Effie’s Place, 91 Park Rd.
Come have breakfast and stay to watch the parade or stop by after and have lunch. The patio will be open and is a great spot to watch the parade kick off. Effie’s opens at 6:30 a.m. A special 20% discount is offered to parade volunteers before and after parade.
Bottle and Can Drive at ShopRite, 46 Kane St.
Recycle your bottles and cans at ShopRite, 46 Kane St., and donate those nickels by selecting “Park Road Parade” as the beneficiary. Every nickel adds up to a significant donation at the end of the two-month period. Donations help offset the expenses of the Park Road Parade, a volunteer-driven event now in its 21st year. This special fundraising event will run through the end of October.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!