May 11, 2022
After a two-year pandemic-prompted hiatus, the Dorchester Day Parade will journey up the avenue once again on Sun., June 5. The parade, which starts at 1 p.m. in Lower Mills, follows a three-mile course up Dorchester Avenue to Columbia Road.
The all-volunteer committee that organizes the event hopes it will quickly regain its foothold as the year’s largest celebration of Boston’s biggest and most diverse community.
It will be a tough task. There has been less outreach to local businesses than in pre-pandemic days since the committee has not sought to raise funds aggressively, according to panel chairperson Kelly Walsh, who says the parade’s coffers remain full after two years without spending.
The parade typically draws in participants ranging from high school marching bands and youth sports leagues to candidates for governor, along with a bevy of neighborhood civic organizations. Walsh says the committee is accepting applications through the end of the month from groups that would like to participate.
Forms may be downloaded at the website, dotdayparade.com.
Several related events are also on the calendar:
• On Sat., May 21, the Little Miss, Young Miss Dorchester contests will be at 1 p.m. at First Parish Church, 10 Church St., Dorchester. Contestants (ages 7-9 for Little Miss and 10-12 for Young Miss) must be residents of Dorchester and able to participate in the parade. Applications are available online at dotdayparade.com. The contest is organized by longtime committee member and former Boston city councillor Annissa Essaibi George. (This event was re-scheduled from its original date, May 14.)
• Ryan Collins, who is a candidate for the honorary Mayor of Dorchester title, will host a fundraiser for the parade at Dorchester Brewing Co. on Thurs., May 12, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will feature a performance by Boston-based country artist Louie Bello. Tickets ($25) may be purchased at the door.
• The traditional Chief Marshal banquet, which will honor WWII veteran Lou Pasquale, will be held on Thurs., June 2, a day earlier than in past years. Details about the event — including ticket price—are still being finalized, but the venue will be Florian Hall. Anyone interested can contact Kelly Walsh at 617-894-8121.
• The Project DEEP- Blarney Stone Dot Day 5k will return on parade day, with registration at 11 a.m. and a “shotgun” start at noon. The race begins and ends at the Blarney Stone with a course back and forth along Dorchester Avenue between Fields Corner and Lower Mills. The pre-race cost is $30 per adult and $15 for children under 12. The day-of race cost is an additional $5. Awards, music, BBQ, and parade-watching follow immediately at the Blarney Stone, 1505 Dorchester Ave. Register at projectdeep.org.
On parade day, Dorchester Avenue will be closed to traffic and on-street parking for several hours, beginning around noon. The parade will be staged on Richmond Street, which will also be closed to traffic on the morning of the parade. No on street parking will be allowed.