Shivering Chihuahuas at the Holyoke Parade

Does everybody really love a parade? Today I drove over to the corner of Appleton and Beech Streets, in the area of Holyoke known as the Flats. This was once an Irish enclave, but now it is nearly all Hispanic. I ducked into a crowded little grocery store where people were coming out with beef skewers and meat pies. I was famished, so I bought some.

Waiting for the parade to start, hundreds of people and kids of all ages stood shivering and hopping from foot to foot. A tiny black chihuahau picked up his tiny paw and his whole body shivered. “Frio!” I said to his master, a little girl who picked him up and wrapped him in a green blanket.

People were all dressed up in kelly green outfits, one little boy of about 7 ran around with a huge green hat with a conspicous marijuana leaf design on the top. The parade finally made its way to us…Chief Scott lead the way, smiling and waving to cheers from the crowd. Vendors with shopping carts overflowing with inflated balloons, penants and huge flags scurried out of the way. Two gangbangers tugged on a leash of a scary looking pitbull. It was the Holyoke Parade, the biggest thing that happens every year around here. And for the Irish and the Hispanics, it was a day to be on the street.