NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Seamus Bohan will be marching at the head of this year’s Greater New Haven Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. He will continue a family tradition he’s proud of after serving the city for over 20 years.
It’s a familiar scene around an Irish table: relatives gather to refresh and reminisce over a pot of tea and a stack of old snapshots.
“I knew I would do this someday and it’s here,” says Seamus Bohan, seated at a table, surrounded by family.
It’s a job that means so much. And now, Bohan and his dad, Mike, will be the second father-son duo to serve as Grand Marshals of the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
“To follow in his footsteps, to go down Chapel Street like he did, it’s special,” he says.
And the route is well-traveled.
I was born into this, you know – a little kid marching in the parade whether it was with him or the football teams, coming to all the fundraisers, especially corn beef and cabbage.…It’s pretty cool to keep it going. My son, Sean, helps in the kitchen. My two daughters come and work the floor serving people.– Seamus Bohan/ 2020 Grand Marshal Greater New Haven Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
And the tradition grew with him. He’s been co-chairing it now for 20 years.
Parade day will mark one year since the Hamden native retired from his role as Captain of the New Haven Fire Department, a job of twenty-two years.
“I miss it, I loved it, I was very passionate about it,” he says. “There’s no greater feeling in the world than being able to help somebody.”
This past year, the father of three enjoyed parade events with his daughter, Claire, explaining, “My daughter was Honor Attendant, one of the Queens in the parade.”
Speaking of family, Bohan thanked his wife, Dina, for her never-ending support and his parents for teaching him about values and respect.
“We have great pride in our Irish ancestry and great work ethic,” he says. “We were taught young, if you want something, go out and earn it.”
And his father, who passed away in 2004, will be there on March 15 in spirit.
“I have his Grand Marshal ring that I plan on wearing that day so he’s coming down the street with me,” says Bohan who can’t wait to fulfill his destiny, one step at a time.
“It’s going to be cool. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a nice, sunny day – I had a talk with the big fella,” he chuckles.
News 8 is your home for All Things Irish. Tune into our live special coverage of the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 15. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. on News 8.