It’s almost spring and apparently in Greenwich we’re about to usher in a season of parades.
The St. Patrick’s Parade is set for 2:00pm next Sunday, March 19.
A “Parade of Champions” to celebrate GHS athletic teams is set for June 11.
In between those two events, the Greenwich Town Party is proposing its own parade on May 23, which is the Tuesday before the Memorial Day long weekend. (The Town Party is Saturday, May 27 and Memorial Day is Monday, May 29, 2023.)
Scot Weicker from the Greenwich Town Party proposed the parade to the Board of Selectmen on Thursday. A series of road closures in downtown Greenwich will be necessary make way for the parade.
The Board of Selectmen serve as the town’s traffic authority.
The parade would take place from 5:15pm – 6:00pm, and include live music from local bands – possibly bands from GHS and Brunswick School bands, as well as the Preservation Hall Brass Band.
It would also include floats, stilt walkers, and local non-profits.
Weicker, event manager at SBW Events Group, said the idea of the parade and party is to further the Greenwich Town Party’s non-profit mission of creating an annual celebration.
He said he’d been working with Greenwich Police, including Roger Drenth and Captain James Bonney.
“In speaking to Roger Drenth (Police Traffic Technician), he’s planning on 22 Greenwich police officers assisting that day, in addition to private security on site that day,” Weicker said. “Twenty-two seems like a significant number and I think it’s being prepared on any eventuality.”
The presentation narrative says the parade would promote the 3 tenets of the Greenwich Town Party: Celebrate, Community & Participate.
Mr. Weicker said the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park’s capacity was limited to 8,000, but because the town has a population of over 60,000, plus town employees, there are only so many who can attend the annual event.
“A parade gives the Greenwich Town Party the opportunity to include even more of the community in the celebration,” Weicker said.
Over the years the GTP has made efforts to give more people an equal opportunity to apply for Community Tickets (general admission) and Senior Tickets (65 +) because tickets would typically be snatched up within minutes of going for sale.
An online lottery was introduced in 2021.
Still many townspeople have never had the chance to attend the popular event.
A recent commenter on Greenwich Connections Facebook page said, “And yes I am salty that for the past 3 years of living here I never seem to ‘win the lottery’ for tickets.”
Another person said, “Who needs a parade to celebrate a party you aren’t invited to?”
After the parade, there would be a party, from 6:00 to 8:00pm in Havemeyer Field, featuring live music and free food from Greenwich licensed food trucks.
The Selectmen asked Mr. Weicker about concerns too many people might show up for the party.
The staging area for the parade is proposed to be the municipal parking lot behind CVS, close to Mason Street. The parade would move through that parking lot, take a left past the post office on Amogerone Crossway, head down Greenwich Avenue to Grigg Street, over to Arch Street, to Bolling Place and into Havemeyer Field (between the BOE building and Town Hall).
The item was a first read. The applicant will be back on March 22 in hopes of a vote of approval.