In anticipation of this year’s St. Patrick’s festivities, crews at the Department of Public Works, Syracuse Police Department and the Parks Department have been hard at work preparing everything necessary for a fun and festive weekend. The celebration of the Irish and everything green kicks off a week early with the 13th Annual Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run on March 10th. Participants and spectators are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Hunger Project, which seeks to “support our community network of hunger-related agencies in meeting the food needs of the individuals and families they serve.” In the days prior, the Parks Department has been setting up Burnet Park, which will serve as the start and finish for the race. Plowing snow, trimming trees, setting up barricades and staging the awards ceremony are just some of the integral work for our hardworking crews prior to race day. The Department of Public Works helps to prepare the race route through the historic Tipperary Hill neighborhood, including a pass by the legendary “green-on-top” traffic light. Crews will set up barricades to keep police and race volunteers safe, as well as filling in any potholes in order to keep the runners safe. According to Parks Department Special Events Coordinator Britney Farmer, “none of these events would be possible without the combined efforts of Parks and DPW.”
The St. Patrick’s Parade weekend will kick off on Friday, March 16th, with the ceremonial painting of the stripe. The Parks Department, with coordination from the SPD and DPW, will have a team standing by with green paint for Mayor Ben Walsh, the Rose of Syracuse, Parade President Janet Higgins, Father John Ahern and this year’s Grand Marshals Bill Gooley and Edward M. Riley to begin the ceremony on Salina Street. The ceremonies will continue immediately after with proclamations from Mayor Walsh at The Atrium, with an invocation from Father Ahern, and some entertainment from local Irish Dance groups who helped raise money for the Hunger Project. After the weekend starts downtown, festivities will continue with the Tipperary Hill Neighborhood Association’s flag raising ceremony at Stone Thrower’s Park. The Parks Department will support the ceremony with arrangement of the sound, podium and flags. Opening festivities will conclude with the Grand Marshal Gala at the historic Marriott Syracuse Downtown, formerly known as the Hotel Syracuse, on Friday night at 6 PM.
This year’s theme for the 36th annual St. Patrick’s Parade is “Dublin Down in the Emerald City,” which recognizes the concurrence of the Parade and St. Patrick’s Day, which both fall on Saturday, March 17th. Mayor Walsh will be in attendance for the day-long festivities, which commence with mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The Mayor will then march the parade route alongside his family and Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens. The Syracuse Police and Fire Departments spend countless hours directing traffic and making sure everyone can celebrate safely, while the Department of Public Works sets up barricades in advance along the parade route in order to close streets and keep the parade running smoothly. Parade President Janet Higgins is gracious for the assistance, saying “the Parade Committee is so very appreciative to all the City Departments who work so diligently to get our great Parade down Nancy Duffy Lane on Parade Day. Special thanks go out to the Parks and Recreation Department and Britney Farmer for their tireless efforts, as well as the Department of Public Works and Jim French for their assistance. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t thank the Departments of Police and Fire for their cooperation.”