Photos: The St. Patrick’s Parade that never happened

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  • Brandon Sullivan takes a birthday card from one of the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade Chicopee Colleens taking part in a special parade for him on Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Chicopee. Brandon's mother, Denise Sullivan, said he always goes to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade, which was canceled this year, and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan waves to people wishing him a happy 29th birthday in a parade past his home in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to his mother, Denise Sullivan, Brandon's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan, left, waves after receiving a birthday card from one of several Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade Colleens from different cities taking part in a parade past his home in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to Chicopee Police Public Information Officer Mike Wilk, organizers estimated some 300 participants in the parade. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Above, Colleens for the city of Chicopee’s contingent in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade bring a birthday card for Brandon Sullivan, right, during a parade past his home in Chicopee on Saturday. Brandon’s mother, Denise Sullivan, said he always goes to the Holyoke Saint Patrick’s Parade, which was canceled this year, and he’s always joked, “I want to have one come by our house.” According to Chicopee Police spokesman Michael Wilk, organizers estimated some 300 people took part in the parade.

  • A contingent of muscle cars takes part in a birthday parade for Brandon Sullivan in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan waves to people wishing him a happy 29th birthday in a parade past his home in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to his mother, Denise Sullivan, Brandon's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." This year the Holyoke parade was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but Brandon got his wish. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Denise Sulllivan waves to a contingent of Jeeps taking part in a birthday parade for her son Brandon at their Chicopee home on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Sullivan says that Brandon always goes to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade, which was canceled this year, and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." According to Chicopee Police Public Information Officer Mike Wilk, organizers estimated some 300 participants in the parade. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan waves to a contingent of motorcycles taking part in a parade for his 29th birthday on Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Chicopee. According to his mother, Denise Sullivan, Brandon's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A contingent of large tow trucks brings up the rear of a nearly half-hour long birthday parade for Brandon Sullivan in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to his mother, Denise Sullivan, Brandon's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade - which was canceled this year - since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan waves from the front yard of his Chicopee home to one of the dozen or so tow trucks that concluded a birthday parade for him on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to Chicopee Police Public Information Officer Mike Wilk, organizers estimated some 300 participants took part in the parade. Brandon's mother, Denise Sullivan, said he's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Brandon Sullivan smiles at the conclusion of a half-hour long special parade for his 29th birthday at his home in Chicopee on Saturday, May 2, 2020. According to his mother, Denise Sullivan, Brandon's been going to the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Parade since he was a kid and he's always joked, "I want to have one come by our house." —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Photographer
Published: 5/3/2020 6:32:09 PM

CHICOPEE — Brandon Sullivan loves going to parades, especially the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade and according to his mother, Denise Sullivan, he’s always joked, “I want to have one come by our house.”

Denise Sullivan said Brandon has a developmental disability but a “savant-level” knowledge of every local parade. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Holyoke parade was canceled, but on Saturday afternoon Brandon got his longtime wish, four days ahead of his 29th birthday.

From the front lawn of his home, he and his family watched a parade of vehicles that included pickup trucks, tow trucks, fire engines, muscle cars, antique cars, hot rods and even a Willys driven by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Several of the cars paused to deliver birthday cards to Brandon, including many open-top vehicles carrying Colleens from the different cities and towns that would have been in this year’s Holyoke parade.

Chicopee Police spokesman Michael Wilk, whom Brandon knows as “Officer Mike,” stood at the foot of the Sullivans’ driveway to live-stream the event, which had an estimated 300 participants.

Still smiling after the nearly half-hour parade, Brandon said, “I loved it.”

Kevin Gutting can be reached at kgutting@gazettenet.com.

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