The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council

It is worthwhile repeating a few facts and figures about last Sunday’s 2018 St. Patrick’s/ Evacuation Day Parade. An estimated 125 marching units participated in this year’s Parade. On Monday, we read in Boston’s daily newspapers that maybe as many as a million spectators attended the Parade, despite the uncomfortably cold weather. That makes out Parade the largest in New England and the third largest in the country,

Frankly, South Boston Online doubts that a million spectators showed up. However, based on previous years, half of that number, or 500,000, would not be unusual. To put that number in perspective, please consider that 500,000 people would fill 25 TD Bank Gardens for the Celts and Bruins, 12 Fenway Parks for the Red Sox, or 7 Gillette Stadiums for the Patriots. And a half a million, or 500,000, is just the “low-side” number that our Parade attracts each year.

You probably know that South Boston’s Annual St. Pat r ick ’s /Evacuat ion Day Parade is funded, scheduled, organized, and ultimately presented by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council (the SBAWVC). This has been the case for the last 70 years, under a legal arrangement that was later supported by (among other things) a 9-0 favorable Supreme Court decision. You know this already, but it’s worth repeating: The Parade is an enormous amount of work that is handled entirely by the SBAWVC, which from year to year numbers only 15 members or so.

This editorial has two very simple purposes. First of all, South Boston Online wants to thank the SBAWVC very much for their efforts in 2018, and for their efforts on all the Parades during previous years as well. Many of the members of the SBAWVC work on various assignments during the Parade, and so they actually don’t get to see the Parade themselves.

Second, the issue of safety came up this year. The City of Boston made a decision that the snow last week was a Parade hazard. Therefore, the City cut the Parade route in half, which may eliminate a large portion of the Parade’s local meaning.

Magnanimously, the SBAWVC agreed to proceed with the 2018 Parade, even though its route had been shortened. This shows the Veterans Council’s appreciation of the greater good: To have the best Parade possible in order to carry on this tradition, no matter what problems arise.

We commend them for their attention to the best interests of the entire City of Boston community in 2018, despite the Parade’s shortened march. South Boston Online hopes that the complete, historic route of the Parade will be restored in 2019.

 

Jeanne Rooney

Jeanne Rooney is the Editor in Chief for South Boston Online.