Old Neighborhood Parade Steps Off Saturday, Could it be the Last?

Organizers say return on time and energy have not been worthwhile

Tom Puckett
March 15, 2019 - 4:00 am

Valley Community Association


Buffalo, NY (WBEN) While downtown Buffalo prepares for Sunday's St. Patrick's Day parade, another parade with history will step off tomorrow. But could it be for the last time?

The Valley Community Association's Old Neighborhood St. Patrick's Day Parade will have 93 contigents marching in South Buffalo for the 26th straight year. "It's historic in the parade started at West Market Terminal, where the casino is now, and march through the streets. So, when we adapted the parade in 1994, we took a part of that route," says Overdorf. The parade will wind through the streets of the historic Buffalo River Community including South Park Avenue, Smith Street, Elk Street, Hamburg Street, and South Street.

But there was a possibility the parade would not happen this year. "The parade is a fundraiser for the Valley Community Axxociation and we target five areas: youth, seniors, child care, family support and neighborhood beautification, and we try to raise funds for those programs. The return on the time and energy was not good, so we had to evaluate," says Overdorf. Response since then was positive. "We had a fundraiser Saturday night and three times as many people came to raise funds for the parade, and sponsors have also come forward," notes Overdorf. 

Everyone loves the parade, but Overdorf says she needs more than that from parade goers. "A lot of people say the parade can't stop, but at the same token, they're the ones who have to step to get people to continue supporting or have a corporate sponsor throw money at us to make it worthwhile," says Overdorf.

After the parade, people can come to an "Irish Hooley" at 93 Leddy Street as well as a post parade party at Tewksbury Lodge.

Will there be a parade next year? "I don't know, because we'll need this support next year to make it worthwhile," says Overdorf.


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