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Southie's St. Patrick's Day parade: Should it stay or go?

Posted by Alex Pearlman  March 6, 2014 12:02 PM

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For officialdom in Boston, the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade --once a staple of political life -- has lost its shine. Today, the Globe reports that, since a deal between MassEquality and parade organizers seems unlikely, most of Boston's elected officials are planning to skip the event on Sunday. So are all 10 gubernatorial candidates. So is Mayor Marty Walsh.

In the past few weeks, as accusations have flown and compromises have failed, some have started to wonder whether this parade is worth the trouble anymore. Is the St. Patrick's Day parade a tradition worth fighting for? Should we start over with a new kind of Southie heritage celebration? Or should we scrap the whole thing and hang out in another neighborhood? Share your thoughts in the comments, or tweet them to @BostonComment.

Good riddance to bad rubbish

margery.jpegItís time to get rid of the St. Patrickísí Day parade. This supposed celebration of Irish pride and culture has instead become a paean to bigotry. Itís an embarrassment to Boston. It should embarrass Irish-Americans. It surely embarrasses this one. Not a single politician should march. Nobody should, actually, save for maybe John ďWackoĒ Hurley and his pathetic band of Allied War Veterans, whose parade glorifies warfare at a time when veterans and most of America ó after 11 years of bloodshed ó want nothing more than peace.
Margery Eagan, @MargeryEagan
The Boston Herald

Mayor Walsh still looking for the show to go on

New Generation 2 Chromeless player.

Status: Officially hypocritical

Keep the tradition, change with the times

raddy.jpgI donít think itís time to get rid of the parade altogether, but I think itís disgusting and pretty abhorrent that anyone should be discriminated against for any of their thoughts or feelings, and I donít think a group should not be allowed to walk simply because of their sexual orientation.
Randy Gross
Barstool Sports

Irish heritage? Please.

cullen.pngIt was only as I got older that I realized how much booze had become an integral, insidious part of the parade. People got loaded, threw up on their shoes, peed on sidewalks, punched the air and each other....Go to the paradeís official website, and the first thing you see is a link directing you to bars where you can celebrate your Irish heritage by having a few cold ones. I might be more inclined to accept the parade was all about honoring veterans if the website gave as much prominence to a link where people could donate their beer money to, say, the Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House, or Home Base... Iíve seen intrinsically disordered acts of grave depravity on and off Broadway during and after some parades, and none of them involved homosexuals.
Kevin Cullen, @GlobeCullen
Boston Globe columnist

Go your own way

Should we also let the anti-Catholic Orange Order of Belfast march in protest of St. Patrick's Day right in the middle of Southie's parade? Preferably armed to the teeth? Obviously not. My point is that the theme of the St. Patrick's Day Parade is to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It's not to bash people who like St. Patrick's Day. It's not to air the grievances of our beloved gay brethren (legitimate though they may be), nor to protest against nuclear power, capitalism, or the mistreatment of animals. People who want to parade about those things ought to march in their own parade, because bringing so many irrelevant side issues into it tramples on the rights of the parade organizers to express what they're trying to express. A parade that's about everything is effectively about nothing and therefore not worth having at all.
"NomDeBlog" commenter

Over Wacko's dead body

gelzo.jpgMarty Walsh told me yesterday heís spent way too much time on this issue. But then, itís a lot like our relations with Cuba. Nothing is likely to change until the Castros depart. So it is with our St. Patrickís Day Parade. Not much is likely to change so long as John ďWackoĒ Hurley draws a breath.
Peter Gelzinis
Boston Herald columnist

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About Boston.comment

weiss.jpegBoston.comment is an exchange for ideas about Boston and beyond, brought to you by the Boston Globe editorial page and edited by Globe columnist Joanna Weiss. We're the sponsor of's #LabDebates and the creator of the Choose Your Own Adventure mayoral game.

Our producer is Alex Pearlman, with contributions (and sea monsters) from Noah Guiney. To join the conversation, post a comment, tweet with our daily hashtag, or follow us on Twitter @BostonComment.

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Top comment

The US has become so PC that's I'm afraid it;s time to say goodbye to yet another tradition! This used to be a fun parade, filled with good intentions and laughter.
just for luck


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