There is really only one place southeastern Connecticut locals should be this Sunday, and it’s in downtown Mystic for the .
What began in 2003 as a small Mystic community event has quickly become one of the can’t miss events of the year for the entire state.
This year the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation expects some 2,000 marchers to participate in the parade and 25,000 spectators. That first year they estimated they had around 800 marchers and just a few thousand people watching.
“None of us at the time realized what we were starting nor could we envision what it would become,” the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation said on its website.
Most locals are just as surprised as the foundation by the popularity and growth of the parade. During the past few weeks as I’ve run into people around Mystic the parade has continually come up first with questions such as are you going and who do you think will have the best float and then people have inevitably remarked can you believe how it’s grown?
For me the parade’s expansion has been fascinating to watch because in a way I missed it. I vaguely remember that first parade, but then I missed a few way I was away at school. I did make it home one year to see the Clydesdales but by then the parade had already started to grow up. It seemed like I saw this small parade with mostly just people from Mystic in attendance and then all of sudden you were tripping into people from all over the state.
I have to admit I like the quiet winters when it’s mainly just locals walking around Mystic, but I love the tourist season just as much. Yes, traffic can be a disaster at times but you never know whom you will run into in our small little village. The St. Patrick’s Parade is where the quiet season starts to fade away into the bustle of the spring and summer.
This year’s parade is sure to be no different. Irish rock band Black 47, local organizations and businesses trying to beat for best float will all be there.
I’ll be there too—taking pictures and maybe some short video clips to post on and Groton Patch. We’re going to want to see your photos too so make sure you take a bunch.
The Mystic Irish Parade kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday March 25, but get to Mystic early for some .