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St. Patrick’s Day Parade to follow shortened route

A view of snowbanks on East Broadway, part of the usual route for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

Boston’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will be held as scheduled, despite the near-historic accumulation of snow in the city, but the annual march will follow a shortened route, officials announced Wednesday.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh met with parade officials, including head organizer Brian Mahoney, at City Hall on Wednesday night to discuss the logistics of clearing snow along the nearly 4-mile route. The gathering ultimately decided to shorten the event to about half its normal length across South Boston, from the MBTA’s Broadway Station to Farragut Road.

“The major concern was just being able to get the amount of snow off and it’d really be a monumental effort,” Walsh told reporters after the meeting. “The task would probably take a month to clear this parade route because there’s so much snow out there. . . So the organizers of the parade agreed to say that we keep this parade on Broadway this year.”

It will start at 1 p.m. March 15 as planned, Walsh said.


“It was difficult because we want to put on the best show and create the best viewing corridor for all the people that will be there — over a million people,” Mahoney told reporters Wednesday night. “But this is the best solution for everybody concerned because the entire city is under this snow attack, and we wouldn’t feel right demanding, or trying to demand, the entire route be cleaned.”

Boston has seen 105.7 inches of snow, just about 2 inches shy of making this its snowiest winter on record. An onslaught of storms starting in January shut the city down for several days, crippled the T, and made many sidewalks treacherous or even impassable.

Walsh said the parade organizers will work this weekend to clear the route of snow, using front-end loaders, backhoes, and other heavy equipment to remove the stubborn mounds.


The group will have “some help from the city,” Walsh said.

“Most of the streets are cleared, the main thoroughfares, but there’s some large amounts of snow on the sidewalks,” he added.

Despite the shortened route, Mahoney expects the parade will help raise residents’ spirits, just as the Patriots’ Super Bowl celebration did last month.

“I really think everybody in the city has cabin fever,” he said. “We’ve been under a snow assault for about a month and a half, and everybody has cabin fever. It’ll be a beautiful day, 54 degrees. We have great bands coming, our chief marshal, Kevin Conroy . . . so we expect to put on a great show.

“We’re disappointed we couldn’t go the whole route,” he added, “but we’re very happy and grateful to the mayor for making what we have possible.”

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.