First things first: South Boston’s Allied War Veterans Council has scheduled this year’s St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade for Sunday afternoon, March 20. It will step off from the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and West Broadway promptly at 1 p.m. It is a fitting and auspicious date. Not only is the 20th the first day of spring, it‘s also Palm Sunday. That’s the day that Christ paraded into Jerusalem for Passover, and was greeted by joyful crowds spreading palm branches before Him.
For those of you who are new to South Boston, our St. Patrick’s/Evacuation Day Parade celebrates American veterans, the Irish heritage and the Evacuation of Boston on March 17, 1776. The Evacuation was the first victory in the War for Independence – a victory by George Washington, Henry Knox and their valiant artillerymen on Southie’s Dorchester Heights, where the tall white monument stands.
The parade is organized and arranged each year by a local private group called the “Allied War Veterans Council.” This year, Bill Desmond commands the council and Tim Duross is the parade organizer. Most importantly, the 2016 parade will be entirely dedicated to the memory of John “Wacko” Hurley, our patron saint of the Parade for decades past. Details on that to follow.
The City of Boston enthusiastically supports the Parade of course, especially with police details, crowd security, and clean up afterwards. However, most of the funding for the parade must be raised privately. Please consider a small donation of your own, especially if you plan to attend (southbostonparade.org). Plan to attend the parade fundraiser next Saturday, March 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Fitzgerald Post, 715 East Fourth St.
South Boston Online will be publishing a number of articles about the Parade and its many activities before March 20. One article will feature a Spotlight Profile on this year’s Parade Chief Marshal, William “Bill” Thomas. Congratulations, Bill. A second article will deal with the U.S. Navy ship that will visit Boston Harbor before the parade.
We’ll bring you articles on parade-related topics. So far, 100 units have signed up. In 2016, South Boston may break its own record of 152 marching units, with marching bands dominating the entries. The world-famous Mummers from the New Year’s Day Parade in Philadelphia will help us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Evacuation Day this year.