Dorsey: After 35 years, the annual St. Patrick’s parade has run its course in Quincy

Dorsey and Oliver

Dennis Oliver, left, and Jeff Dorsey were part of the St. Patrick's parade every year. | Photo courtesy of Jeff Dorsey

I write this today with a very heavy heart.

After a 35-year run, the annual St. Patrick’s parade in Quincy has come to an end.

Since the first parade in 1987, I have put my heart and soul into this event. It grew from just Dennis Oliver and me walking down the street to more than 100 entries over the years.

A lot has changed since 1987, including the demands and requirements of holding a parade. During the past 35 years, I was fortunate to always have a broadcast outlet to cover the liability costs involved. With my “retirement,” that is no longer the case.

In discussing this issue with several independent insurance agents, as well as my own personal agent, their consensus was the parade is doable but really not a good idea. We have unfortunately become a “lawsuit happy society.”

Since the pandemic, the City of Quincy’s requirements to hold outdoor activities also has expanded to include things like providing an emergency response and security plan, a First Aid plan, an ambulance service agreement and an event crisis procedure plan. There are now fees and other costs involved that did not exist in previous years.

When this parade began, I stated we will not charge any entry fees. I’m proud to say we never did.

In conclusion, I would like to thank my friend Dennis for agreeing to walk with me back in 1987. Neither one of us could have ever believed then that my dream of an annual St. Patrick’s Parade would be held for the next 35 years.

I also would like to thank my long-time lineup crew of Dan Ebbing, Rob Ebbing, Blake Ebbing, Dave Williams and Don Hummel for their great work, and the Quincy Police Department, Auxiliary Police, Adams County EMS and Central Services for their assistance. A big thank you also to Kelly’s as well for sponsoring the parade for years.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone who came to participate in or watch one of the St. Patrick parades during the past 35 years. My goal was to bring smiles to kids and families and to usher in spring every year. Knowing I accomplished my goal is comforting. I will miss those smiles, but I will always remember them.

Perhaps someone else in the years ahead will find a way to continue this tradition. My time has come to an end.

Thank you for making my dream come true.

Jeff Dorsey was in the radio business for 48 years before retiring from KRRY-FM radio (better known as Y101) in May 2021. Dorsey worked in the Quincy market from when he was hired at WTAD Radio at age 25 in 1978 until he retired.

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