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Watching forecast for return of Utica's St. Patrick's Day Parade

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It might not rain on our parade Saturday. But it will snow.

“There probably will be snow on the roadways. At least it's snow; we're not expecting any freezing rain or any sleet to go in there," says NewsChannel 2 Chief Meteorologist Bill Kardas. “It’s not gonna be as bad as the '93.”

Utica's St. Patrick's Day parade is returning to Genesee Street after a two-year absence due to Covid. Few will be watching chief meteorologist bill Kardas’ forecast as often and as closely as Dave Short, Utica's Public Works Commissioner.

“We’re in all night tonight because it's our regular shift. Tomorrow night, Friday night, our shift usually ends at 11, so if we have to come in a couple of hours later, that's what we'll do," says Short.

Uticans are used to snow on their parade route. Dolly Parton knows. She was scheduled to perform in Utica during the blizzard of 93, but wound up watching Utica's St. Patrick’s day parade, on Genesee Street shocked by the tenacious participants, unfazed by the blizzard around them.

“They were goin' down the streets, these people were marching, sliding around in the snow, the girls were waving, their hair's flat as a board, from the snow just flying at them, nobody watching, except us from our bus windows, and I thought right on, Irish people! Have a good time!’" said Parton, during an interview with David Letterman in 1993.

Few want the parade to happen more than Co-Director, Patrick McGrath.

“We’ve been asked a lot, you know, how excited are you after more than 1000 days of not being able to do this. I've got to say, with all the events we've had this week and continuing events this week, it's just great to see the people that we've missed for two years,"  says McGrath. “Our plan is move forward 100%, unless we absolutely cannot so it's been a long time since we've done this and we're gonna not let anything get in our way, if possible,"

City officials and public safety will meet in the morning about the parade and storm preparedness.

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