South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Route Shortened for 2016

One local group isn't thrilled.

One year after two LGBT groups were finally invited to march and just a few months removed from the death of longtime organizer John “Wacko” Hurley, South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is once again the subject of controversy.

Caught in Southie‘s Maureen Dahill reports that this year’s parade will be shortened, following the same abridged route down Broadway used last year amidst the snowiest winter in Boston’s 386-year history. Public safety and the cost of overtime police detail were cited as reasons for keeping the parade route shortened.

Dahill obtained a flier distributed by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, who expressed their disapproval of the city’s change of plans.

“At our February 22nd Meeting at City Hall, The City of Boston, without prior notice, shortened our parade by more than half,” the flier reads. “Rather than than our historic route through the neighborhood, and by our Dorchester Heights Memorial to Andrew Square, they want the parade to run Broadway Station to Farragut Road. This route was used last year because the City could not remove snowbanks from the route. We argued this restriction and were told we could be granted a new hearing to discuss pros and cons. We were not!”

In a statement, Mayor Marty Walsh said he consulted with Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans and decided that the best balance between preserving the parade’s historic tradition and public safety would be last year’s route.

“Why is the City of Boston shortening our parade and no other neighborhoods? [sic]” the flier goes on. “Is it wise to route visitors through our neighborhood coming and going from Broadway? Isn’t it unfair that the City of Boston can change a 115-year neighborhood event without explanation?”