Cead Mile Failte ( A hundred thousand welcomes) to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee of Greater New Haven. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition was born in New Haven on March 17, 1842, when about 90 members of the Hibernian Provident Society, a mutual aid organization formed the previous year, marched through the city streets behind a banner made especially for the occasion.
Lovingly sewn into the banner were traditional Irish depictions: St. Patrick in his bishop’s robes, an Irish wolfhound, a harp, shamrocks, and a portrait of Gen. Richard Montgomery, the Irish-born hero of the American Revolution.
The two mottos inscribed on the banner bespoke the dual loyalties of the marchers: ”e pluribus unum” and ”Erin go bragh.” (Joan Moynihan and Neil Hogan) Since the mid-1950’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Greater New Haven has become one of New England’s premier Irish events. It is the largest, single-day spectator event in the State of Connecticut. As the 6th oldest parade in the nation, its fame was recognized by the Library of Congress in 1999.
This keepsake of New Haven’s Irish community became a national keepsake when the Library of Congress selected the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade as an outstanding example of American folklife. Thank you to all who participate, attend and support the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade. An estimated 200,000 spectators lined the streets of the Elm City in 2006.[By: Saint Patricks Day Parade, New Haven, CT]