I see people commenting about the cities lack of support of “our” events. Unuh stop it! News flash, the City of Hartford is broke! Bronin announced that 3 hours after taking office last January. And no, the money that they suddenly found in their coffers and that the CEO’s are pledging to give should not be earmarked for our cultural events. They are closing schools and eliminating other critical social service which should be higher priorities than our need right now to have our parade or festival. If it’s true that the City gave $25,000 to support the St. Patrick’s day parade, then that is because the restaurants in downtown Hartford more than likely benefit greatly from the influx of suburbanites into the City on that one day. That investment means more tax revenue for the City and State.
West Indian people don’t support or frequent businesses in downtown Hartford and they probably have very legitimate reasons, in addition to parking, why they should not and do not (e.g. stares, harassment, nothing for us, potential big rhaatid parking ticket). The majority of us only show up twice a year in August; first for the Taste and second for the conclusion of the Parade event. I applaud the Irish community for putting their coins together so that they can have their event. Last year Celebration tried a GoFundMe effort by reaching out to the community. I don’t even think they managed to raise $200 from the very group of people who love to beat their chest and brag that Hartford has the third largest West Indian immigrant population in the United States. Imagine that, $200 degeh dollars raised from the nations 3rd largest West Indian population! Unuh should a shame. I was, and I gave money!
For the people still griping about the parade being re-routed to end in downtown Hartford… listen, the parade needs more than bodies to show support. The parade needs funds, some of which should be coming from vendors. Selling jerk pork and “beverages” out of the trunk of your car, as a lot people did back on the Main Street days, is illegal, unsanitary and does not support the parade. Downtown offered a controlled environment which forced people to comply with the food and safety codes of the City and the Celebration committee also gained a little money to help offset the cost of an extremely expensive event. Unuh did tink seh the parade free? Police escort and protection; cleanup crews, outdoor latrine, sound and PA system, dj’s and all dem tings deh NUH FREE!