Next Sunday, Oct. 8, Worcester’s 23rd annual Columbus Day parade will take place on Shrewsbury Street.
According to parade organizer Judy Verdini, the event typically attracts at least 2,000 onlookers – “weather permitting.”
As with any parade, Verdini says the weather plays a big part in the attendance numbers.
“People tend to watch the parade on television, too,” Verdini added.
When asked how the local businesses have responded with the parade on their front steps she said, “They have been cooperative. The parade is only an hour long and business is overflowing for longer than that. They’re not suffering.”
For the third consecutive year the parade route will go down the westbound side of Shrewsbury St. from Aitchison St. to Washington Square.
“We try to keep everybody happy,” Verdini said when asked if the parade route change was called for by businesses and neighborhood residents. “The parade only takes an hour, and the police do a good job keeping the flow on the other side [Shrewsbury Street].”
So far this year there are currently 50 participants in the parade ranging from local schools, politicians and businesses. But Verdini anticipates more before the whistle blows to start the parade.
“It will grow now through next week,” Verdini said.
This year’s Grand Marshal is WCCA-TV 13 Executive Director Mauro DePasquale and the parade will be led by the Worcester Detachment 144 of the Marine Corps League. This year’s theme is “Community Melody.”
Once the parade is over, the Committee takes a month off before starting their plans for the next year.
“It’s out with the old year and in with the new one,” Verdini said of the November meeting. That meeting is where the Grand Marshal for the next year is nominated on and voted.
This year’s parade starts at 12:30 PM.