Excitement is building as organizers make their final preparations for the annual Dorchester Day parade, set for Sunday, June 3. The parade— which has its roots in observances dating back more than a century and has been ongoing in present form since 1963— starts at 1 p.m. on Dorchester Avenue in Lower Mills. It proceeds 3.2 miles north to the corner of Columbia Road and Dorchester Avenue.
There are always special guests and local elected officials visible along the parade route, including Savin Hill native Mayor Martin Walsh. In addition, two of the city’s youngest dignitaries will be rolling down the parade route in style. Young Miss Dorchester Gabrielle Monteiro and Little Miss Dorchester Elisabeth Bogle— crowned on May 5— will greet parade attendees with a smile and a wave from a convertible.
Wherever you find yourself on Dorchester Avenue on Sunday, there will most likely be music in the air. The procession is always chock-full of marching bands, local musicians, and dancers that will get you moving and ready to revel in the rhythms of the city.
And of course, you’ll be likely to spot a friend or a relative marching in support of the countless local organizations, clubs, and sports teams represented in the parade.
Sunday’s parade is preceeded by a road race on the parade route. Project DEEP co-hosts a 5K run beginning and ending at the Blarney Stone on Dot Avenue that starts at noon. More details are available at projectdeep.org.
The Chief Marshal’s dinner that kicks off parade weekend will take place on Friday, June 1 at 6 p.m. at Florian Hall. The event will celebrate this year’s Chief Marshal, Ed Kelly, a lifelong member of the Boston Fire Department and the General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters. This year’s Mayor of Dorchester— Joe Castro — will also be honored at the dinner. To purchase tickets please call the Dorchester Day Parade Committee at 888-734-2356.
Dorchester Day observances began in 1904 as local history enthusiasts sought to commemorate the arrival of the first English settlers in 1630. The first ceremony — included speeches and a patriotic concert—was staged at Savin Hill, where the early settlers staked out their first camps. Over the years, a parade was added— along with other activities, ranging for yacht races on Dorchester Bay to bike decoration contests. Many events have fallen by the wayside, but the June 3rd parade has been a mainstay for several generations.More info on the parade can be viewed online at dotdayparade.com.