With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cursing the St. Patrick's Day Parade

 

The Hartford Marathon and the St. Patrick's Day Parade are the two biggest days of the year for suburbanites to come into the city. Not surprisingly, the two events draw wildly different demographics.

This weekend we went down to Hartford's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. People often say that the Puerto Rican Day and West Indian Day parades are the two worst days of the year in the city. We disagree. At least the majority of the chaos from those parades comes mostly from the city's actual residents. The St. Patrick's Day Parade revelers are way worse because most of them don't even live here. They just barge into town like unwanted party guests who drink all of your beer, throw trash on the ground, piss in your parking lot and then take a dump in the upper deck of your toilet (without flushing, mind you).

Did you attend the parade? Did you enjoy it? Do you have any embarrassing photos you would like to share? We'll be listening in the comments section.

27 comments:

  1. i didn't go. i hate St. Patrick's day debauchery. but i find that dude's shirt really offensive. the two girls oozing from his love handles should be ashamed of themselves. i hope this was not one of the Sad City bloggers. oh well... poor Hartford.

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  2. We told Jumper not to pose for that picture, but the dude just wouldn't listen.

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  3. I went with my partner and our soon to be 2yo son. Had a blast. Parked on Lawrence & walked up to the Presbyterian church near the Bushnell. Had fun watching the crazy crowds. My boy met some other kids & they played with sidewalk chalk while waiting. Met some people from Vernon. It's interesting to watch the differences in High School & Middle School bands. Passed a tear or two for the Korean Vets. Snarled when Blumenthal walked by. BTW, we packed up our trash and waited to use an actual rest room to pee!

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  4. I disagree. I am a downtown dweller and of course there was debauchery as to be expected with any holiday that focuses on drinking and the only means of celebration. However, the Hartford Police did a wonderful fundraiser just next door to the Russian Lady, that began just as the parade wound down. They provided great food and beer without the crowds, AND all participants used the bathroom facilities that were provided! Best of all it was for a good cause that benefits the city. Perhaps we should focus less on the bad and look for the positive points that this holiday brings to the city.

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  5. For those of us who are true Irish, it's sad to experience the celebration of our heritage in a way that is more Mardi Gras blow-out than a reflection of the homeland's patron saint. I like to lift a pint as well as the next but the kind of extreme displays demonstrated by reveling throngs (especially along Asylum Street where debauchery runs rampant) makes for a very unwelcoming experience. Some of this is the organizer's own fault, however, since they now seem to let in anyone and everyone with a big, blaring sound system, bags of candy and skimpily-clad women, so long as they're wearing green.

    The Puerto Rican and West Indian parades are no better. Doesn't matter if they involve more city residents or not. The City resources needed for crowd control and to clean up the sea of trash left behind is ultimately a strain on taxpayers' pocketbooks. Particularly when all of these events have a significant portion of their fees waived by City Council. It would be interesting to know what the actual financial costs are to the City of Hartford for these 3 parades .

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    1. It is unbelievable how ignorant people are. It takes a lot of work, effort and money to run these parades for the public to enjoy and celebrate and show pride for the their culture (Irish, Puerto Rican and West Indian). And NO the City does not waive any fees.

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  6. Last year I was living right in the middle of Hartford's bar district and I found the parade incredibly annoying. Living there required some getting used to listening to drunken nonsense at all hours of the night but this parade provided 100 times the amount of drunken nonsense, even a chick pissing in the gated off courtyard outside of my apt. building. Also all of this nonsense was going on about 12 hours earlier than it would on any other weekend when it's normally pretty quite. I totally agree with your assessment of the St. Patrick's Day Parade and it's one of the many reasons I'm glad I don't live downtown anymore.

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    1. So you lived in the middle of the bar district and complained about the noise??

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  7. Sounds like a normal Tuesday night in Bridgeport. Only a lot less Irish and a little more car theft.

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  8. shouldn't the city of hartford be thankful that us "outsiders" are coming in and giving them some of the most business they get all year. Ask anyone on the bar owners or employees if they hate the money they make on st pattys day parade and i bet you get the same answer from all of them.

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  9. You are living in the capitol of CT. Do you bitch and moan when thousands of people get together at 8 in the morning to walk for the American Heart Association? PROBABLY NOT!!! The city of Hartford has been holding this parade since god knows when and is100% okay with this, otherwise, they would not participate in hosting such an event. You're probably annoyed with the absolutely hilarious T-Shirt because you could NEVER get chicks like that hanging off of your ridiculously unFUN personality. Fun events like this rarely get to happen anymore due to too much crime and crazy people in this world. Let them have fun and be able to walk down the street drunk for one day out of the year. LIGHTEN UP!!

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    1. Yes, because the people walking for the American Heart Association always leave the steets of Hartford littered with empty beer bottles and pools of piss. Moron.

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  10. I for one had an awesome time! Complain when youre dead! Long live the Hart-beat!

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  11. I prefer the Saint Patrick's Day Parade debauchery to the Puerto Rican "Pride" chaos myself. I live near downtown and I noticed soon after the SPD parade ended the streets were cleaned-up and the partiers regrouped on foot to the entertainment areas in the center of the city to continue. Puerto Rican "pride" participants, however, always continue with a non-stop parade of cars cruising up and down every street and alley, heavy-bass music boom-boom-booming from open windows and car horns blaring non-stop and screams and shouts - and it all goes on all over the city until well past midnight, garbage tossed "proudly" along the way. I love festivals, but forcing others to share your personal, undesireable festivities is just a nuisance.

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    1. I totally agree. Have never been able to understand why it is called Puerto Rican "Pride" parade ... more like Puerto Rican Arrogance. This is not a racial thing. I have friends and neighbors who are from PR. But when you get hundreds-thousands-of people together in the name of a particular culture and their 'celebration' amounts to an in-your-face assault of sound and garbage that's left for others to clean up, you really have to question the intent of the 'celebration.'

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  12. I have lived downtown for years and worked in the bar scene down here even longer, and I find your little blog to be ridiculous. First of all the city that you call "yours" needs the money generated from this parade to stay afloat as businesses continue to suffer due to lack of events, sports teams, shops, etc...You act as if the capital of a state is a small village that should not welcome outside residents and outside revenue. I agree that a lot of the patrons of the parade are out of hand and need to be controlled better, however it is St. Patrick's Day. I challenge you to find a city that celebrates this holiday without a little bit of drunken buffoonery. As for your comparison between St. Patty's and the Puerto Rican or West Indian Parade, it just goes to prove you have not a clue about what you are talking about. I worked downtown for all of these parades and as far as I know the body count is non existent for St. Patty's as opposed to the multiple shootings, stabbings and violent crimes the other parades generate. You talk about someone taking an upper deck in a toilet and not flushing, seems very reminiscent of your blog itself.

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  13. Look, I'm all for the drunken bufoonery. But does everyone have to use the city as a toilet? Events are fun and they bring the city alive, but there has been an increasing trend of douche-y, spring-break-reject antics over the last few years. Maybe it's just that because I'm now well into my 30s that this type of thing seems way less amusing than it did back in the day.

    And don't get me started on those do-gooder, heart disease/breast cancer types. Raising money and driving awareness for important causes? The nerve!

    What I would love to see is an event that gathers thousands of people from all over the state who are as bitter as me. We could get together and stand in a disorganized crowd while we bitch and moan about how crappy the event is. The only downside is that the apathetic and cranky tend to be remarkably cheap and avoid spending money at local businesses. They are the type of people who bring white plastic bags filled with bruised apples and homemade peanut butter sandwiches wrapped in foil.

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  14. Is the parade in Hartford different than any other city? Would you rather Hartford be a ghost town on st. patty's day? I feel like this post is contradictory to the point of this blog.

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    1. Does it need to be an all-or-nothing proposition? my vote would be for a happy medium. Lots more port-o-lets available for revelers; better guidelines for marchers; a bit more policing of open bottles and public drunkenness. No, you DON'T have to be soused to have a good time.

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  15. Yesterday, I let people speak their minds and whatnot, but today I'm ready to respond. As the male in the above picture, if you knew me at all, would know not only do I live in Hartford, but I work downtown as a bartender as well. I don't appreciate you using my picture as an example of the "unwanted party guests" who just drink all your beer, liter in your streets, and blah blah blah. As any of my manager and co-workers can tell you, I had to work Saturday night was completely sober. Maybe you should do some research and get all sides of the story before you go on such a stupid tangent. It's the parade, maybe you should chill out and let the younger generation have a little fun, as I'm sure you did back in your day and thank them for generating so much money to OUR city. But thanks for the 15 minutes of local fame.

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  16. I mean c'mon...who doesnt love drunk sluts? Guy in said picture above...u are my local hero

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  17. Only in Hartford can 75,000 people get totally wasted and piss all over the place and have it be justified by the fact that they are spending money in the process. Calling it a sad city doesn't even begin to explain it...

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  18. i myself used to bartend downtown. there is no way that the hartford "resieance" can say that the st. pattys day parade is the huge issue of hartford, and or whats the percentage of section 8 in hartford? If anyone of those people told me that im causing an issue in their town they all better take a step back and realize they have no say. second off the person in the picture is getting harrassed when you do not know the first thing about him. If you want to change how hartford is maybe you should check all the drugs being used or sold and all the crimes that are being committed. Id rather have someone piss on my sidewalk then something shooting up my front door or smoking crack in my backyard. Come on now lets really look at hartfords issues. Leave the people that go and support harrford for the parade alone.

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  19. For all of you who self-righteously think you are doing Hartford a favor with your drunken buffoonery and claim that this kind of behavoior is far better than the drugs, poverty and crime that occurs in the city - think again. Drugs, crime and poverty occur in ALL cities of any size since that's where the programs are to deal with them. I mean, when exactly is that homeless shelter in Simsbury? You want to come in from your tidy lives in the suburbs and trash Hartford because you think it's allowable and fine. When's the last time you came in to the city to volunteer to help in a soup kitchen or to get on to a litter patrol or to do anything at all to REALLY help the city?

    To the guy in the photo ... may you bear only daughters when you start having kids. Let's see how you feel when your girls are 16 and some dude has his tongue wagging out of his head eyeballing them as drunken sluts.

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  20. The Parade has run 41 years straight. This year being the most attended with an estimated 75k. If bathrooms were an issue this certainly would be why. It's not a difficult problem bring in more portopotties and charge more for vendors and or parking to pay for them. To say suburbanites shouldn't come to the city is pretty silly especially in our sad city. If suburbanites don't come to cities, then cities die plain and simple. The SPD was televised these PR or West Indie parades are not nor have I ever heard of them. If you like them it's because they are small and no one knows about it. Basically peeing in the streets is not linked to one ethnic celebrations it happens at all Of them. Go Hartford, bring more people in it's the only way to be a Happy City!

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