It was probably about ten years ago that my wife and I started to go to the Old Neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day Parade in “South Buffalo”. Up until that point, I was aware of the parade, but I always went to the “bigger version” (held on Sunday) in downtown Buffalo. The first time that I ever attended the Old Neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day Parade, I immediately knew that a new tradition was born. There was something about the old-time flavor of the parade that captivated me. While I still love the larger downtown parade, the South Buffalo parade (held on Saturday in The Valley and the Old First Ward), speaks wonders of hometown pride and tight-knit neighborhoods. Most of the people who participate in the parade, and who attend the parade, are from The Ward, The Valley, and South Buffalo. These families have a sense of pride for their neighborhoods that can not be matched.
While the Old Neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day Parade is still a hometown favorite event, it is now in jeopardy of disappearing. In fact, parade organizer Peg Overdorf has said that this year could be the last. Why? Because the annual fundraiser is not being supported as it once was. Peg is now calling to the community to rally together, to support the parade, so that it can remain as a staple of these deserving neighborhoods for years to come.
“Many people do not support the parade fundraiser which this year will be Saturday, March 9 at 7pm at The Valley Center for only $20 each,” declared Peg in a recent social media post. “I need volunteers to help at the parade and I need people to help with the days activities. There is an organizational meeting March 6 at 6pm at The Valley Center. I currently cannot justify the amount of staff time put into this for 3 months for the small amount of return. The small amount of proceeds go right back into programming at The Center. Last year we made $7400. We were told that police coverage would cost over $5000 of that $7400. Thankfully Councilman Scanlon called and informed me that this year the police fees have been waived. Perhaps stop by The Valley Center or The Tewksbury Lodge following the parade for a few beers and something to eat. Otherwise you can celebrate this as the last parade. Thank you and hope you consider helping us.”
To participate in this year’s fundraiser, held on Saturday, March 9 at 7pm at the Valley Center, be sure to visit this Facebook page for details.
To learn more about this year’s Old Neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day Parade, visit this Facebook page.
Lead image courtesy The Valley Center