Western Mass. residents share their favorite memories of Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade

The 70th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade kicked off Sunday morning on Northampton Street in Holyoke.
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 2:21 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The 70th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade kicked off Sunday morning on Northampton Street in Holyoke.

Western Mass News not only marched in the parade, but also spoke to some of the thousands of residents in attendance to hear what this beloved tradition means to them.

“Oh my God, it’s fantastic!” said Goodie Gardin of Chicopee. “It’s been forever since we’ve been here. We tried two years to make it, haven’t made it, so finally!”

The cold temperatures and strong winds did not stop people from coming out to enjoy the 70th Annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.

“I wasn’t sure I was going to come because it’s so cold, but I’m breathing it,” Debra Allen of Easthampton told us. “It’s fun, it’s really fun.”

Thousands of people filled the streets of Holyoke on Sunday, showing off their St. Patrick’s spirit.

“It’s a really good time and everybody’s really nice,” Allen said. “I’m not even Irish, but look it, I still dress up and have a really great time.”

Our very own Western Mass News team marched in the parade alongside many, including Dimples the Clown, who shared what it means to him to be part of the big day.

“This is a great parade because I think it’s like the second largest in the United States or something like that. It’s a really great turnout, the first big parade of the year we do followed by 4th of July, which is a lot warmer than today,” Dimples said. “The crowds are an incredible thing that come here. Bring it, but watching the people that come to watch it is kind of amazing.”

Parade goers also told Western Mass News their favorite part of the St Patrick’s parade.

“The bands,” Gardin told us. “I love the bands.”

“I cheer on everyone because they come out and walk in the cold, so I like to cheer everyone on and wave to them,” Allen said.

“There’s clowns,” said Callie of Holyoke. “I love my mom and dad and my sister.”

“And you love the St Patrick’s Day parade?” her father asked.

“Yes!” she exclaimed.