NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Posts from the “Parades” Category

Visiting “The Big E” – Eastern States Exposition – Sept 18-Oct 4, 2015

Posted on September 15, 2015

  Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett Big E day is always exciting! Now in its 99th year, Eastern States Exposition – “the Big E” – brings anticipation of revisiting the tried & true, as well as, curiosity about what will be new and different.     For us, the day starts early with a drive from Connecticut up to West Springfield, Massachusetts knowing the traffic will be heavy either on I-91 North or the “back way” – my preferred route – through a series of small towns surrounded by hints of autumn’s turning trees. Despite the massive parking lots, finding a parking space can be a challenge followed by the walk to the fairgrounds and the lengthy line to get in.  …

“Home of the Free Because of the Brave”

Posted on May 27, 2014

Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett  Across the country Americans took time yesterday to honor those in the United States Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. In small towns and big cities people gathered for Memorial Day parades, wreath presentations at cemeteries and monuments, the singing of the ” Star Spangled Banner” and for speeches. From the smallest ceremonies to the biggest the message was the same – remember with gratitude. It was repeated from one town to the next – along with scenes such as  high school bands playing patriotic songs,  police and firefighter color guards, boy scouts and girls scouts, old soldiers riding in cars while their younger counterparts marched, gun salutes and the haunting sound of Taps. Indeed, from town…

Dual National Championship Parade for UConn Draws Hundreds of Thousands

Posted on April 14, 2014

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb As far as the eye could see and beyond, fans lined the streets of downtown Hartford on April 13 for the 2014 Dual National Championship Parade honoring the University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball teams  – a repeat of ten years ago when the UConn men and women also brought home dual national NCAA basketball titles.   This time around the crowd was estimated to have been even larger – approaching 300,000. It certainly looked that way. Under sunny skies the celebration got underway at 4 p.m. outside the state Capitol. Scheduled for 45 minutes it went twice as long. Taking part were a number of  area high school marching bands, multiple fife & drum corps,…

A Grand 2014 St. Patrick’s Parade for Greater Hartford, Connecticut

Posted on March 16, 2014

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb   It was another grand St. Patrick’s Parade that drew an estimated 60,000 spectators to downtown Hartford, Connecticut Saturday, March 15 to watch five thousand marchers.   This year’s Grand Marshal was Beverly Concannon, a longtime volunteer for the Irish American Home Society.     Early morning clouds gave way to sunshine by the 11:00 a.m. onset of the parade.   Irish folk music filled the air, as well as, the sounds of “Danny Boy” performed by various high school marching bands.   As is tradition the Hartford Police Department led off the parade followed by the Hartford Fire Department Emerald Society.   Of course, there were bagpipers in kilts and a sea of green revelers who…

2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Steps Off in Hartford on March 15

Posted on March 7, 2014

Write-Up & Photos by:Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb The 43rd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off at Capitol Avenue in Hartford,Connecticut at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 15. It will make its way through the downtown ending near the Memorial Arch at Bushnell Park. This year’s Grand Marshal, Beverly Concannon, will be presented with her walking cane at the Parade Mass Friday, March 14 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue. The archbishop of Hartford will preside over the mass. In addition to the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee of the Irish American Home Society, ten towns in the Greater Capital Region are slated to march: Hartford, Rocky Hill, Manchester, West Hartford, South Windsor, Glastonbury, East Hartford, Wethersfield, Newington and making its…

Lt. Gov Wyman Joins Fourth of July Boom Box Parade in Windham, Connecticut

Posted on July 4, 2013

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman joined the 28th annual Boom Box Parade in Windham (Willimantic), Connecticut earlier today. The parade started promptly at 11 a.m. at Jillson Square then made its way along Main Street about a mile and a half to Memorial Park. Wearing her signature high heels -this pair in bright red – and with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at her side, Wyman smiled and waved to the crowds that lined both sides of the street. The Boom Box Parade story is well-known and told on the WILI website. In 1986 no marching bands could be found for Windham’s Memorial Day Parade. Five weeks later the idea for a Boom Box Parade was put forth. The…

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman Leads Connecticut Day Celebration at 2012 Big E

Posted on September 21, 2012

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett   Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman led the celebration of Connecticut Day September 19 at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Arriving at the Nutmeg State building on the Avenue of States around 2:30 p.m., Wyman was greeted by Sgt. Jeff Samonajczyk and other members of the Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police. Wyman spent the better part of the afternoon mingling with exhibitors and constituents before taking the podium on a stage out front to address the crowd. “Connecticut will always bring you a sunny day,” said Wyman, speaking under clear, blue skies.             Gene Cassidy, first year president of the Eastern States Exposition – nicknamed the Big E – spoke too as part…

Unique Boom Box Parade Celebrates Fourth of July

Posted on July 4, 2012

Story & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb The 27th annual Boom Box Parade drew thousands of participants and spectators to Willimantic, Connecticut today to celebrate the Fourth of July. The unique parade began in 1986 after no marching bands could be found to take part in the town’s Memorial Day Parade. Thanks to Yankee ingenuity and WILI – the local radio station – a few weeks later the idea for a boom box parade came to life. It quickly became enormously popular and has captured attention well beyond the borders of this small community nestled in the eastern corner of the Nutmeg State.   Anyone can march in the parade down the Main Street. Participants are asked to wear red, white and blue and…

Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade Draws Thousands of Spectators

Posted on March 13, 2012

Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett Bagpipes,step-dancers,marching band renditions of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” and thousands of spectators awash in green, were all part of the 41st annual Greater Hartford St.Patrick’s Day Parade held March 10 in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. The day even included an impromptu marriage proposal. Spirits were high from the moment the two and a half hour parade kicked off at 11 the State Capitol under sunny skies. Clad in various hues of green and lining the streets on the way to Memorial Arch, viewers came prepared for crisp, yet comfortable, temperatures in the 40’s. Sister Peggy Evans, an East Catholic High School faculty member, was the Parade Grand Marshal and local television anchor, Irene O’Connor of WFSB, marched…