BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)- Saint Patrick’s Day in Bridgeport began by raising the Irish flag over city hall in a cold mist that probably made that flag feel very much at home. Bridgeport itself is home to many Irish, and immigrants of all kinds.
“New immigrants arrive every day in Bridgeport,” said Mayor Bill Finch, (D-Bridgeport). “We’re an immigrant-friendly city. We never forget our roots and we’re proud of our Irish heritage. It helped to build the city of Bridgeport.”
One of the families that helped to build the Park City is the Lovely family, and Ted Lovely is the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade.
“My great-grandfather came from County Mayo, came to Bridgeport in 1849,” remembered Lovely. “Got involved in politics and was elected Mayor of Bridgeport in 1888, so my roots go way back.”
The roots of the parade itself only go back to 1983. Organizers wanted to bring crowds to downtown businesses like the bar Murphy’s Law, where they were already pouring drinks just after nine A-M.
“We’re expecting some pretty big crowds today,” said bartender Julia Colley. “It should be absolutely packed. Got corned beef sandwiches, fish and chips, the usual, and lots and lots of Guinness.”
Then in-between the pints of Guinness, folks came out to enjoy the parade. It was particularly enjoyable because, just as it started, the sun finally came out in Bridgeport. Hundreds of marchers, young and old, big and small, people of all backgrounds, all of whom are Irish for a day.