Hundreds of thousands of people turn out to see the marchers, the floats, and all the excitement the parade brings.
There are also plenty of vendors along the route selling their goods.
But one thing they won’t be selling this year are toy guns.
The reason is that Mayor Morse received a petition from residents asking that toy guns not be sold,”Mayor Morse was in support of it, this is a family oriented parade and especially with the recent school shootings in Newtown we thought this was something very important to stand behind,” says Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Assistant to mayor Alex Morse.
The decision to ban the sale of toy guns along the parade route comes from the city’s license board but that decision has the approval of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.
Committee members say the decision also has the support of the Holyoke Police Department.
The mayor’s office says the decision sends an important message against violence,”They can still sell the usual toy balloons and animals and all of the other things that come with the parade and anything our young people can enjoy themselves with without any kind of violence involved, so they can still do all the normal things,” says Tessa Murphy-Romboletti.
And if vendors do show up with any toy guns, the license board says those items can be confiscated under the law.