The snow has been cleared from the streets lining the nearly 2.5-mile parade route which is now decorated with painted shamrocks for the rest of the month of March.
Homes all along the Holyoke Saint Patrick’s parade route now carry the unmistakable signs of welcome to the marchers and the crowds, especially those who’ll be invited to view the parade from these vantage points.
“It’s the largest homecoming in America,” former parade president Peter Brady told 22News. “There are people now who take their vacation yearly to come back to Holyoke on parade weekend. And it’s not just the Irish; it’s the French, Polish, Spanish, it doesn’t make any difference. It’s time to get together.”
Many of the homes along the parade route are so welcoming of visitors that homeowners host parties entertaining dozens of people on their porches and lawns, often resulting in new friendships.
“A lot of people come. We have a little beer and everybody has a good time,” Dewey Evans explained. “It’s just a great thing. It’s too bad it happens once a year, but that’s the way it is.”
22News Storm Team meteorologists expect Sunday to be bright and dry for the tens of thousands—possibly hundreds of thousands—of people are expected to line the parade route for this annual expression of Irish pride and culture, with thousands more watching our live coverage on the CW Springfield, or streamed live on our website.