Luck Of The Irish (Meter), Free Parking Downtown On St. Patrick’s Day

Ganim, Mario, St. Pats
In this biblical photo, Mayor Joe Ganim and Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa at 2016 parade day.

Well, there should be no meowing about the Downtown parking meters on St. Patrick’s Day. The city’s Facebook page is promoting free parking all day Friday. Or should we call it fry day? That’s if anyone can get Downtown on Friday. The forecast calls for a foot of snow on Tuesday. There goes the public works snow budget. It will be a busy week of days for Mayor Joe Ganim, St. Patrick’s Day Friday and St. Joseph’s Day Sunday.

St. Pat's logo

Yes, a green day indeed on many fronts. You can serenade City Council President Tom McCarthy, this year’s grand marshal, along the parade route. Please ask Big Mac if he’s seeking reelection. “What, I can’t hear you,” will be his likely rejoinder, hand cupped to ear.

And just in case you haven’t experienced enough green on St. Patrick’s Day, Ganim’s 2019 reelection campaign is throwing a fundraiser at Testo’s Restaurant, the epicenter of city politics, owned by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, March 23rd. Now that night at a suggested $500-$1,000 personal contribution will be roaring with green.

free parking

So, the good town chair and mayor wouldn’t mind if all those quarters you had saved up for the Downtown parking meters (and subsequent tickets that require you to mortgage your house) were redirected for the reelection meter.

Now, everyone raise a glass … here’s to expiring all political enemies. Chug, chug, chug.

Bridgeport parking meter
Not on St. Patrick’s Day. CT Post photo.


  1. Everybody who joins in on the celebrations during St. Paddy’s Day and wears something green as well; is a bit Irish at heart, no? It’s a day to celebrate yet another group of past and present Irish immigrants whose blood, sweat and tears have made America great and part of the great ethnic melting pot it is today! *** Happy St. Patrick’s Day, “OIB” ***

  2. Mario absolutely looks like a Leprechaun.

    There appears to be some type of phone banking to raise money for Ganim. It looks like they were calling those who donated in 2015. Two different people I know were called. One was called by a female and another by a male caller. One person told me they let the caller have it and basically told them Ganim can go to hell.

    I called and emailed all my family members and told them if they are solicited to say NO and hang up the phone.


    1. Upon further inquiry a donation letter was mailed out last week for the Ganim fundraiser at Testo’s. I called my cousin, my uncle, and some Portuguese friends, none of whom live in Bridgeport, they all received the letters. Two also said they received phonecalls yesterday. My cousin who maxed to Ganim in his exploratory, primary, and general told me he would donate to Ganim when “hell freezes over.” I only raised $10,000 for Ganim, however not one of those donors will donate to him again. They are wasting their time.

  3. My favorite Irish Blessing For Joe and Mario.

    May those who love us, love us;
    And those who don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts;
    And if He doesn’t turn their hearts.
    May He turn their ankles.
    So we’ll know them by their limping.

  4. Surprised Mario and Joe haven’t changed the route of the parade to start at Mario’s pizza place on Suburban, where all participants would be required to pay for breakfast then up Westfield, and end at Testo’s, then require all participants to pay for lunch at the restaurant. Be another money maker for them.

  5. Joe and Mario beware! There is a reliable rumor Bob Keeley is on a pot-of-gold, campaign-financing Leprechaun hunt and he has you in his sights (with a rainbow-vi$ion scope he bought on his last trip to Ireland)!

  6. I was on the first parade committee in 1984 under the founder Lenny Paoletta. I am happy with the way it has grown but I feel none of my Irish with this year’s Grand Marshall whom I can’t see as having done anything to promote anything Irish over the years besides politics. There is a small group of Irish in Bridgeport who do take care of each other. McCarthy is in that group. I’m content as an Irishman to not be in it.
    Happy St. Paddy’s Day. Let’s not forget where we came from and let’s all be Irish for this day!

  7. Speaking of parking meters, I note happily in Monday’s Connecticut Post, Ed Adams says the mobile app for the new smart parking meters will be rolled out in roughly three weeks:

    Adams is the mayoral aide assigned to the parking meter project. He deserves kudos for a project much more complex than it appears. There’s a lot of internet wiring and connectivity in the meters and in curbside trenches that now connect the meters. Plus, there’s a new easily accessible parking meter services office at 333 State Street right at curbside.

    No specific answer yet to the complaints aired here and elsewhere about tickets for standing at the meter for five minutes or more. But the article ends with Adams quoted as saying City Hall is watching the meters’ reception carefully and plans to be responsive. I hope we can read that between the lines as, “We’re working on it.”

    I spoke with Mr. Adams by telephone several weeks ago (before the five-minute flap). He answered all my questions and was, indeed, responsive. So I’m keeping faith in the system.

  8. Once the App is launched, there will be an additional 30-cent fee tacked on to use the app to pay the meters. So then it will be $1.30 an hour to park downtown.T his is the same downtown where restaurants are mostly empty, little shops have hardly any walk-in traffic etc., now add the ridiculous $1.30 to park and you may as well close the remaining places down.

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