HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke’s St. Patricks Parade this past weekend saw crowds it hadn’t seen in years.
The atmosphere was electric. That’s what parade officials are telling 22News the day after the return of the biggest parade in western Massachusetts. The streets of Holyoke were quiet Monday as the city recovered from its biggest parade of the year.
There were many questions surrounding Holyoke’s 69th St. Patrick’s Parade whether it would be canceled for a third straight year. But the Holyoke Parade Committee was determined to have the celebration and western Massachusetts didn’t disappoint.
“I’ve been doing this for 45 years and I’ve seen larger crowds but very few. This was the largest crowd we had in many, many years.” Marc Joyce, President, Holyoke’s St. Patrick’s Committee
Thousands lined the streets of the parade route Sunday along with dozens of performers marching. It looked like pre-pandemic times. Many business owners are happy to see the streets full of people after tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue over the past two years.
“The economic boost that this parade brings to not just Holyoke but the surrounding communities is just huge. We have a hard time quantifying it but after two years off they know what they lost.”
The owner of Slainte, Jacob Perkins was booked the entire weekend. Although the Irish restaurant is a couple of miles from the parade route, his staff was busy. “It was great for us and even better to see the return of everyone downtown. I’ll be honest with you, it was nice to have the parade back after two years. It means a lot to this city.”
The parade committee now goes over what could have been done better but Parade Committee President Marc Joyce told 22News there are more positives than negatives from this year’s parade.