Holyoke makes final preparations for St. Patrick’s Parade

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Holyoke prepared on Friday to welcome visitors to the St. Patrick’s Parade weekend activities. 22News saw that welcome taking shape.

It’s been eight years since Michael Gallagher started painting shamrocks along the two and a half mile parade route. It gives him a thrill to paint the forty shamrocks by Saturday.

“It’s a great experience. Every year we get a lot of people drive by us and honk their horns at us. The city gets into the spirit of this every year and it’s an ongoing tradition and everyone loves it,” said Gallagher.

Many homeowners along the parade route get into the spirit. Bill Lamirand plans to welcome more than one hundred people to watch the parade from his lawn.

“I started going to the parade when I was, my father took me back in the 50s for the first time. And now the parade comes to you. Right down here,” said Lamirand.

You don’t have to be Irish to welcome the parade. So many homeowners have made parade goers feel welcome in their neighborhoods

With tens of thousands of people expected for the Saturday road race and the Sunday parade, Exit 16 off Interstate 91 will be shut down during both the parade and the road race.

State police Lt Richard Burns told 22News, it’s for convenience and security that are necessary preparations for the city’s St. Patrick’s weekend.

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