Great Day For A Parade On West Hartford's Park Road

School bands, politicians, local businesses, civic groups and even a yellow-suited guy on stilts all joined in the festivities Saturday morning for the 19th annual Park Road Parade.

Police estimate that about 3,000 people watched the parade along the half-mile route.

"It was a great parade. No problems," Capt. Jeffrey Rose, head of the police traffic division, said when the parade ended. "Families and kids really enjoyed it."

About 66 units took part in the parade, including a fife and drum corp from Colchester; "Rob The Drummer," who played his drum set enthusiastically while being towed on a trailer; and Trevor "The Games Man," a professional stilt walker from Haydenville, Mass., making his 14th appearance in a Park Road parade.

"I love this parade. It's short. No hills," Trevor said after finishing the walk on his stilts.

He didn't look like he even worked up a sweat during his 30-minute walk. He said he got into stilt walking when a long-ago roommate got the 5-foot-9 Trevor (" No last name; it's a performer thing.) up on the sticks. "I'm 9-foot-5 in stilts, with the hat." that would be the tall red and yellow, soft-cloth top hat.

The short route was a mercy for the marchers who had to wear band jackets and uniforms on an unusually warm October Saturday. West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor walked the route in stylish black heels.

Diane Giansanti Runde was on the other end of parade fashion Saturday: She wore patchwork baggy clown pants, a red mop wig, a floppy hat wreathed with flowers, sensible cloth sneakers and a bunch of flowers in one arm. Her right arm was flower free, so she used it for a Lamb Chop sock puppet (based on the sheep character created in the late 1950s by Shari Lewis) to talk with kids along the route.

She said she was out in public in the flowery clown outfit as a tribute to parade founder and her friend, the late Richard Patrissi, who owned a florist shop on Park Road and was a driving force in the 1990s economic resurgance of the neighborhood and the creation of the parade.

Patrissi, known as "the Mayor of Park Road," died in 2013 from cancer.

"He was a good man," Runde said of Patrissi. "I'm doing this for him."

Copyright © 2018, CT Now
34°