Former Bridgeport mayor, city clerk honored
Updated 5:05 pm, Tuesday, November 7, 2017
BRIDGEPORT — The two people who started the Greater Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Day Parade are scheduled to be honored by the parade’s committee on Thursday.
Former Bridgeport Mayor Leonard S. Paoletta and City Clerk Catherine Brannelly Austin will be honored by the committee at Circolo Sportivo Italian Club — 2500 Park Avenue in Bridgeport. The ceremony is scheduled to run from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 9.
Paoletta is a retired commissioner of Connecticut’s Worker’s Compensation. He is being honored with the Founder’s Award by the parade committee. Brannelly Austin is a supervisory assistant for the State’s Attorney in Waterbury. She is being honored with the Chairman’s Award by the committee.
Back in 1982, Paoletta asked Brannelly Austin to organize a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown. At the time, Paoletta did not have a budget to provide. She accepted the challenge and organized the parade with roughly 24 volunteers. The first parade took place in 1983.
“It is huge point of pride that 35 years later, the Bridgeport St. Patrick’s Parade continues to march in Downtown Bridgeport,” Brannelly Austin said. “It is a day in Bridgeport when people of all backgrounds put in their finest green and come out and celebrate the many contributions of Irish-Americans in the United States.”
The honorary event includes a three-course dinner, dessert, coffee, beer and wine. Those interested in attending must pay $50 for a ticket. There will be live music, dancing and bagpipes. Proceeds for the evening will benefit the parade’s committee.
Those interested in reserving a place at the dinner can contact Carol Collins at 203-394-3874, Peg Crossin at 203-395-1056 or Patty Brady at 203-372-5612.