St. Pat's Day parade organizer may break 2 million mark in '12
News Release: December 5th
[Abington, MA] - Jack Bailey expects to break the 2 million mark by the summer. That’s 2 million bottles and cans worth a cool $100,000.
And it all goes to put on Abington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and other town programs. Since 1979, the year Massachusetts enacted a bottle bill, Bailey has been collecting them, and stuffing his garage on Orange Street with people’s donations.
A typical week’s haul is about $6,500, $4,700 of which goes to pay for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and $1,800 for the high school marching band.
The 2012 parade – the town’s 33rd annual – will be held on Sunday, March 18 and is expected to be the biggest and best ever. Eleven bands have already committed to the parade, Bailey said.
As St. Patrick’s Day draws closer, donations pick up, he said.
The parade usually costs about $18,000 to produce. The Abington Arts Council and other donations and sponsorships also help pay for it.
“We don’t overspend. We budget accordingly,” said Bailey, chairman of the parade organizing committee.
Bailey accepted and won a $10 bet in 1980 that he could put together a St. Patrick’s Day parade that would draw a crowd. He’s been doing it every since and the parade has grown in size and participation every year.
Town Manager John D’Agostino called Bailey’s effort to reach the 2 million-$100,000-mark a true milestone.