City Hall apparently thinks last year's snow-shortened route for the St. Patrick's parade in South Boston worked so well it's ordering up another shortened parade this year as well, parade organizers say - a decision that is not sitting at all well with many people in the neighborhood.
Under orders from the mayor's office last week, the parade, which will still start at Broadway station, will end at Farragut Road, rather than swinging south and heading towards Andrew Square.
The parade's organizers, who still have the longer route on their Web site say they are shocked and dissatisfied:
This shortens the parade by over 2 miles and forces spectators to stuff onto the sidewalks on Broadway to view our event, while taking away the right of many South Boston residents to view it from the comfort of their own homes and neighborhoods. Lastly, it takes away the very important landmarks that our parade participants march past in order recognize the significance of Evacuation Day. ...
No straight answer from City officials as to why the route was changed, or why they are not letting Veterans march past the Dorchester Heights National Historical Site during their 115th annual parade, which is organized and paid for every year by the South Boston Veterans and their supporters.
Ed. note: I e-mailed the mayor's press office last night and called this morning. If I do hear back from them, will post their answers.
People are filing complaints with 311, and, of course casting aspersions on the Dorchester-born mayor and the parades in his part of town:
Complaint about the Saint Patrick's day parade I think it's a disgrace that the parade is being shorten due to safety . The parade has been here for over 60 years and the community funds the parade. I don't think that the people of Dorchester and Roxbury fund the Caribbean festival and I believe that requires a lot more safety concerns.
The parade is many things to a family from South Boston. It's tradition, history, heritage and about family. Shorting the route will only cause more problems. Too many people cramped into one space. How are people supposed to enjoy the parade while packed in like sardines?! How are children and the disabled going to view the parade while being behind 20+ people?! What about the disabled people who live far from the "route"? It's not fair to the residents of South Boston in any way. If you won't take the constituents of Boston think of all the revenue the city will lose!
Some, however, do support the move:
Please keep shortened parade route. Better yet, get rid of the whole parade! Terrible day for families. And no I'm not a newcomer but a life long resident.