As of about 1:30 p.m. today, enough funds were raised to make the Victory Parade for the NCAA Champions, the UConn Huskies, a go!
According to Executive Director of the Hartford Business Improvement District, Mike Zaleski, the final $25,000 to put on the parade came in today (April 14).
Tomorrow was the deadline for raising all the necessary funds, or the parade would have been canceled.
Zaleski attributed the influx of funds to “a desperate plea” put out via the media over the last couple of days.
In total, costs for the parade are expected to reach $50,000 – all of it raised from private sources – much of it for security, insurance, portable toilets and other necessities for a gathering that in the past has attracted upwards of 300,000 fans.
The parade is planned to kick off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 17.
It is being organized by a number of organizations including the Metro Hartford Alliance and the Hartford Business Improvement District.
It will feature bands from around the state and will culminate in a rally on the steps of the State Capitol.
It will begin and end at the Capitol and wind its way around Bushnell Park and the surrounding streets.
This is the UConn men’s team’s third NCAA Championship. The latest victory was UConn’s 53-41 win over Butler on April 4, 2011.
The women’s team has won seven championships.
According to the press release, as of 1:20 p.m. today, the following have contributed funds to the parade and rally (a full list of funding and in-kind donors will be released Friday):
- Bank of America;
- Billy Carlson Heating & Air Conditioning;
- Buell Securities;
- Connecticut Community Bankers Association;
- Hartford Steam Boiler;
- Hilton Hartford Hotel;
- LAZ Parking;
- Marriott Hartford Downtown;
- Northeast Utilities;
- People’s United Bank;
- The Hartford;
- UConn Co-op;
- United Technologies Corporation;
- Virtus Investment Partners; and
- The XL Center.
The parade will step off at 3 p.m. from the Connecticut State Capitol Building and will travel north on Trinity Street alongside Bushnell Park, turn right onto Jewell Street, turn left onto Gold Street, turn right onto Main Street, and turn right onto Capitol Avenue before returning to the north steps of the Capitol Building for the outdoor Rally.
The team will travel the route atop a double-decker bus.
Many downtown parking garages and lots will offer discounted parking for spectators.
The Courant reports that CEO of the Hartford Parking Authority Mark McGovern said his agency will offer free parking at the Morgan Street garage on Sunday and a flat rate of no more than $6.50 at two garages on Church Street.
For a map of the parade route and more information, visit www.hartford.com.
Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:53 p.m.; updated at 5:10 p.m. with sponsors and parade route
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