With the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade less than two weeks away, parade organizers are reaching out to the community to clear the parade route of the snow before the hundreds of thousands of revelers show up on March 15.
Tim Duross, a parade organizer, said the council has already talked to labor unions and contractors about possibly removing snow. He said there were no plans to cancel or postpone the parade and indicated the council wasn’t interested in any major rerouting.
“We might tweak it a little,” he said of the 3.2 mile route. “There are some little, tight turns we’ll try to eliminate.”
Duross said the council won’t postpone the parade because “you lose all the big names; we have people coming from all over the world here.”
L Street and Broadway, he said, are more cleared than some of the side streets, particularly East Fourth Street and East Sixth Street.
“We have a lot of support,” said Duross. “We’ll see what happens.”
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Southie residents had mixed thoughts about plowing ahead with the parade.
Eddie Quinlan, a retiree and Southie native, said he would be in favor of postponing the festivities.
“What’s another month?” he asked. “ I can’t even park in front of my house. My truck’s in Abington right now.”
Asked if he had any plans to help clear the parade route, Quinlan said “I’m going to be 73 next week and you think I’m going to shovel? I’d take a stick of dynamite to it. It’s solid as a rock out there.”
Kim Lynch, a Southie native and bartender at the Clock Tavern on West Broadway, was incredulous to the idea that the city couldn’t clear the sidewalks in time for the parade.
“What are we paying taxes for?” she asked. “They made it work for the Patriots parade. Why not our parade?”
Lynch thought the parade should be kept off the sidestreets, where the snow and ice is more treacherous.
“Keep it on Broadway and have it go straight to the beach,” she said. “People aren’t going to like that, but the side streets are a mess. You’re going to have people standing on the snowbanks, sitting in the snow banks, slipping out of the snow banks.
While Lynch cast doubt on whether locals would be interested in shoveling out the route, Mike Shaw, the owner of Loco, a bar on the corner of West Broadway and F Street, said he planned to pitch in.
“Of course I’ll do that,” he said. “Everybody wants to have the best parade we can and we’ll do what we have to do to make that possible.”
Hanadi Hamzeh, a Southie resident and owner of Covet, a women’s consignment on West Broadway, thought organizers should move the parade into town, on Boylston Street or postpone it. She closes down during the parade, as most non-booze related retailers do, she said, because it wouldn’t be worth it for her to stay open.
“I know we have traditions,” she said. “But we also have tons of snow. That’s the reality.”
Locals like Lynch, however, can’t imagine moving the parade to another part of the city.
“It’s our parade,” she said. “A week or two would have been nice, but we’re tough, we’re from New England, we can deal with this.”