How do I check my tires for premature or irregular wear?

Gary Jaffarian often says your tires and brakes are the most important parts of your vehicle’s safety system. In this blog, Gary explains the importance of properly inflated tires and rotating your tires for even wear.

tire treadsImproper tire alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. This happens when one side of the tread blocks is wearing faster than the other side potentially affecting your ride and your safety. This is why it is so important to have your tires inflated properly. Underinflated or overinflated tires cause premature wearing.

Most vehicles have an indicator light when your tires are not properly inflated and may first appear in the fall during cool weather or in the summer during the hot weather. There are two different settings for your tires, generally listed on the label inside the driver’s door. (This dashboard symbol usually looks like a set of parentheses with an tire pressure monitoring symbolexclamation mark in the middle.) If your tire pressure light appears, you may need to simply check the pressure. if unsure how to check your tire pressure, watch the video from the Jaffarian You Tube channel on “Jaffarian Service Tips: How to Check Your Tire Pressure” or make an appointment or stop by and we will check your tires for you.

Rotating your tires is an important part of your vehicle’s maintenance. Rotation of tires promotes even wear and when done consistently, will promote longer use of your tires saving you money and hassle. If you are unsure if your tires need to be rotated, make an appointment and let us check your tires for wear, check the alignment and rotate the tires if necessary. You will receive a written summary of the health of your vehicle including your tires so you have the key information you need to make an informed decision regarding regular maintenance.

Tire-Rotation2We realize that replacing tires can be an unexpected expense. However, keep in mind that driving on worn tires poses a real safety issue including risks of a blowout, loss of control due to hydroplaning and adversely affects the reliability of the brakes. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

Tires are essential to your vehicle and essential to your safety. Maintaining the proper tire pressure and rotating your tires regularly are two easy and important ways to promote longer tire life and to protect you and those who travel in your vehicle. If you do need tires, do your homework! Not all tires are the same so be sure to compare apples to apples. A common myth is that dealerships are not competitive when it comes to tires. That is a blog topic for another day, but rest assured we offer very competitive pricing – guaranteed.

Please let me know if there is anything else you’d like to learn how to do; or stop by the dealership for “How Do I…” sessions with a sales or service professional to get the most out of your vehicle.

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Gary Jaffarian

What does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration think are the most important ways to reduce the number of accidents on the roads?

Gary Jaffarian reviews the national organization’s campaigns to reduce traffic accidents and improve highway safety. This week’s blog summarizes the top 10 list..

The NHTSA’s vision is to be the “Global leader in motor vehicle and highway safety.” They base their campaigns on research and statistics and are the experts in collecting national data on accidents and fatalities and looking at the causes to come up with their driver safety campaigns. Below is a list of their 10 campaigns to make the roads safer and to reduce accidents and fatalities:

teencell-lipstick1. “Distracted Driving Kills: You’ve got one job: driving safely.” Start thinking of driving as being a machine operator and your machine weighs 4,000 pounds. If you weren’t paying attention while operating the machine, what would happen? You’d have an accident, possibly get killed—or at the very least, you’d be fired. “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” The NHTSA featured this campaign starting this weekend.

“If you’re driving down the highway, do you think there is ever a circumstance when it’s safe or smart to close your eyes for five seconds?” the NHTSA asks. “Of course you don’t. Keeping your eyes on the road is one of the first things we all learn about safe driving. So why would anyone ever think it is okay to text when behind the wheel, or do anything else that takes your attention from driving?

It takes about five seconds, on average, to read or send a text. Not a lot of time. But, in that span of time, with your eyes on your phone and not on the road, a vehicle travelling 55 miles per hour can travel the length of a football field. In that instant, over that distance, a life can be taken—maybe even yours. Distracted driving killed 3,477 people on America’s roads in 2015.
During April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NHTSA is partnering with our friends in state and local law enforcement and with advocates across the country to remind everyone about the dangers of distracted driving.”

Buzzed driving2. “Last call 360” and “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” campaigns focus on drunk and buzzed driving. Have you ever heard a friend say, “I’m only a little buzzed!” Then as a friend or relative, it your responsibility to make sure that person does not drive home. Take them home, drive their car or call a cab or Uber. Don’t let that person drive home. I cover that topic on a regular basis. Especially at the holidays and on weekends, people tend to drink too much. Summertime is worse than winter—people want to go out and party and then go home. Remember your options: stay overnight, have someone else drive you, call a friend, cab or Uber—just don’t drink and drive. You risk losing your license and high fines. Drunk driving is still the NHTSA’s #1 priority. Don’t use Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday and other holidays and celebrations as a reason to drink and drive.

Speed Limit Sign3. Decrease in speeding, means a decrease in fatalities and “Slow Down and Save Lives.” Drive the speed limit. There’s a reason the speed limits are set as they are reflecting type of road and traffic patterns.

 

 

 

Elder woman4. “Click It or Ticket”–Wear your seatbelts. The states with the highest seatbelt use have the lowest fatality rates. In 95% of all accidents, those who wear seatbelts are better off than those who didn’t.

 

5. Make certain your vehicle is safe—that means good brakes and tires. For a good check-up on your vehicle, visit the Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Department. We service all makes and models. We invest in the latest in technology and our service technicians review your vehicle and email or text you a video as he/she reviews your vehicle highlighting the status of your brakes, tires and identifying any items to make you aware of while your vehicle is in for service. Seeing is believing!.

6. Check for recalls. That also means if you get a recall notice, you take care of the issue. The NHTSA at www.nhtsa.gov has a place on their website to enter your VIN (vehicle ID number) to see if there have been any recalls. That is especially important if you purchased a used vehicle from another person or small dealership

Driving drowsy7. Drowsy driving kills. It claimed 846 lives in 2014. NHTSA is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes for Health to expand their understanding of drowsy driving so they can reduce related deaths and injuries and help people avoid being a drowsy-driving statistic. Driving drowsy presents the same risks as driving drunk.

 

 

Car seats8. Protecting children—The NHTSA has established at least four ways in which to protect children (and in some cases adults as bicyclists and pedestrians). First, young children, toddlers and infants must be in the rear seat in an appropriate car seat for their age. (Also, check on car seat recalls.) If you are not sure if your child is in the correct car seat, please check with your local hospital, pediatric office or police station to be certain you meet the child cars seat laws. Also, when driving on main streets or back roads, watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s why it is so important, even if you’re driving 25 m.p.h. on a back road not to text.

Every 10 days, vehicular heatstroke kills a child in the United States. Every 10 days, a parent loses a child to a preventable death. Since 1998, there have been 684 deaths, 23 of which happened this past year. Never, ever leave a small child alone in the car, not even for a minute. This is especially important in hot weather and applies to pets as well. A closed-up car is often more than 100 degrees. Police will issue fines and charges for leaving a child in a car under child endangerment laws and animal cruelty laws.

9. “Safe cars save lives”—The NHTSA and IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) are responsible for the most objective crash test results. They both rate vehicles from 1-5 stars. See how your vehicle rates for safety on their website.

 

side of road repair10. Move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks. “All 50 States have ‘Move Over’ laws to protect law enforcement officers and other first responders stopped on our nation’s roads. Yet only 71% of the public are aware of these laws, and traffic-related incidents continue to be the number one cause of death among on-duty law enforcement officers. Together with our law enforcement partners and State Highway Safety Offices, NHTSA is working to increase awareness of these life-saving ‘Move Over’ laws and highlight the need to protect public safety professionals who place themselves at risk to protect motorists.” When you see a tow truck or emergency vehicle in the break-down lane, move over to the middle lane.

If it were a perfect world and everyone abided by these campaigns—there would be almost no more traffic fatalities. Please take your driving responsibility seriously. Unfortunately, it is too easy to take driving for granted—it becomes second nature to us—like washing our hands or brushing your teeth. But it comes with a high degree of responsibility. It is a life or death responsibility.

Drive safely while enjoying the nice spring weather—and watch for those runners, walkers and bicyclists.

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Gary Jaffarian

What are the top 10 mistakes people make when buying a vehicle?

Gary Jaffarian shares 10 tips to help you avoid common mistakes consumers make when buying a vehicle. We understand and encourage consumers to do research before visiting a dealership. There are many resources online to help educate a consumer and this blog is one way we at Jaffarian share information to assist the consumer in making the best decision for their car driving needs and their budget. We fully support education and transparency for the consumer.

Gary Jaffarian’s Top 10 Common Mistakes When Buying A Vehicle:

1. Beware of skipping key research: It’s not just what you buy, but where you buy. While many people conduct extensive research on what type of vehicle to buy and how much they should pay, they often skip a critical step: researching on laptopresearching the dealership. Resources such as Dealer Rater, Cars.com, Women Drive and the Better Business Bureau help consumers evaluate where they should buy their vehicle to make sure it’s from a reputable dealership with a strong service culture.

2. Don’t fool yourself into a false trade-in value: Check Kelley Blue Book before you visit dealerships. Buyers should know the true value of their used vehicle. There are Kelley Blue Bookmisconceptions that can cause a lot of frustration. Of course, you want the most for your trade-in, but it is important to be informed and realistic accounting for key factors including mileage and condition of the vehicle.

3. Don’t hide your cards…and don’t let the dealer do it either: Once you’ve done your homework and determine the price you want to pay for your new vehicle and the trade-in value you want for your old one, don’t feel like you should hide that information from the dealer. Put it all on the table and askcards on the tabel your dealer do the same. A transparent approach from both sides will make the process faster, minimize frustrations and maximize the excitement of buying your new vehicle.

4. Only buy the features you really want/need: Don’t get fooled into buying features you simply don’t want or need. Be clear on your “must haves” vs. “nice to have,” particularly if you have a limited budget.

5. Compare leasing vs, buying before you decide. If you are a “road warrior” and drive well beyond 15,000 miles per year, leasing may not be for you, but generally leasing is more cost-effective to get you into the vehicle you want. There are many misconceptions about the benefits of leasing and for many it is a great alternative to financing. The dealer should help you understand whether it fits your budget, car driving preferences and driving habits. Make sure your dealer walks you through the differences between buying vs. leasing to help you make an informed decision.

6. Know the truth about warranties—be sure to understand what is covered Warrantyand for how long and what your options are for additional plans and warranties available. Figure into your budget the benefits of an extended warranty, particularly if you are buying the vehicle outright.

7. Skimping on service will cost you in the long run. Determine where to get your vehicle serviced – it can make a difference in the long-term value and performance. By going to local service stations and drive-in oil change franchises means you may get parts that will not be from your vehicle’s manufacturer. I refer to this as “Keep your Volvo a Volvo—or your Toyota a Toyota.” The more generic parts you put into your vehicle, the less it will be what you originally paid for—affecting the value and performance of your vehicle. Vehicle service history factors into the trade in value. Be sure not to skip an oil change. It’s a small cost toward the overall maintenance and longevity of your vehicle.

8. Size matters…or does it? Are there advantages to buying from a large or small dealership? Know the difference. Again, I encourage you to do extensive dealership research for service, reputation, length of time in business, etc. If someone wants to reach me personally, you can pick up one of the red phones at the dealership and it rings directly to my cell phone. We are family-owned and we are accessible to everyone who visits the dealership.

9. Is the dealership giving back and supporting their local community? Does that matter to you? Learn more about the dealership from their website, local newspapers and other on-line sources. Not only does Jaffarian Volvo Toyota rank high withJaffarian school drive DealerRater, have 75+ years in business, but we also give back to communities in the Merrimack Valley. For many years, we have contributed to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lawrence and Haverhill, high school sports, supported Emmaus House for homeless families and many other local community efforts. We are a dealership with a social conscience and a deep sense of giving back to our local community. For some people that matters and for others it is less important. We support locally and that matters to us and who we are.

10. Don’t forget to include the extras in your budget, like state tax for Mass. residents, Registry of Motor Vehicles charges and additional insurance costs for new models. It is recommended you speak with your insurance agent to factor in insurance costs as you conduct your vehicle research to help you have a complete picture of your finances. Keep in mind that there is not sales tax in New Hampshire and a New Hampshire resident buying a vehicle from Jaffarian does not need to pay Massachusetts sales tax.

Feel free to email me at askgaryj@gmail.com if you have any questions for the Ask Gary blog or more information you would like about Jaffarian Volvo Toyota.

We made it through our April Fool’s Day storm and hopefully it will be smooth sailing on the roads for the rest of the spring!

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Gary Jaffarian

I read that 2016 was a bad year for fatal car crashes. What could we do differently to reduce the number?

Gary Jaffarian will discuss the fatality statistics and why they are growing, rather than declining.

I also read the reports from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration drunk driver test(NHTSA). They reported that 2016 had the highest number of fatalities in nine years. This is more than 35,000 lives lost in the U.S. from motor vehicle accidents. I often write about the technology in newer model vehicles that helps prevent accidents, however, the bottom line is nearly 95% of accidents are caused by human error or factors I also write about—distracted driving, driving while drowsy, drunk, buzzed, or under the influence of medications, illegal substances, or marijuana. My belief is that the number is growing as the use of hand-held devices increases.

teencell-lipstickIt is the law in Massachusetts that teen drivers cannot use a cell phone at all when driving. There is a penalty if they are caught. The penalty for cell phone use is as follows: 1st offense-$100 and 60-day license suspension and attitudinal course; 2nd offense-$250 and180-day suspension and for 3rd or more offense-$500 and a1-year suspension. Texting at any age also carries a fine of $100, $250 and $500.

While new technology allows teens to answer a call without taking their hands off the wheel, being on the phone remains a distraction. Teens also tend to drive older model vehicles that may not be blue tooth compatible which raises the risks of being distracted.

I remember seeing on the news last year that a father in Massachusetts called his son. His son answered his cell while driving and then accidently dropped the phone. While talking to his Dad, he reached down to pick it up with his eyes off the road for only a few seconds, and then he crashed. That was the last time that Dad ever spoke to his son. This is not just a teen problem. We all tend to think we are invincible. It will not happen to me. Remind your teen to not text or use their phones while driving and be a good role model and practice the same safe driving habits of putting your phone away or taking the time to set up your Bluetooth.

10 Don’ts to Make Our Roads Safer:

  • Don’t send or read texts. The later model Toyotas and Volvos allow you to press a bottomTexting-Driving 2 to listen to a text if you have synced your phone with your vehicle’s technology. If you don’t know how to do that, stop by Jaffarian Volvo Toyota and one of our sales or service staff can do that for you. We have a service on Tuesdays and Thursdays called “How Do I…?” where you can simply stop by, or call ahead and we’ll accommodate your schedule.
  • Don’t drive when you are under the influence—of alcohol, prescription drugs that cause drowsiness, illegal substances, or pot. Remember, if you are just a little “buzzed” you are driving under the influence and can get stopped for a DUI.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone—unless you have Bluetooth technology that allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Whenever possible, a good habit is put your phone in your glove box or out of reach and check it immediately once you are parked. It can wait.
  • Don’t drive when you’re sleepy. Did you ever fight to keep your eyes open? Pull over and drowsy-drivingget some rest. Try drinking coffee, opening the window and turning the music up. Go ahead, no one is listening—sing loudly to the music. That will help you stay awake.
  • Don’t pick something up off the floor or fish for something in your glove box. I often see people leaning over while they are driving. Never take your eyes off the road to find something.
  • Don’t drive with pets on your lap. Keep your pets restrained in a travel case or in seat belts designed for pets. . You are risking their safety if you are in an accident and having them in your lap affects your driving.
  • Keep your speed down to within 5-10 miles of the speed limit, especially on the highway, and drive the speed limit on back roads in good weather. In inclement weather, including rain, freezing temperatures, and snow, drive under the speed limit. Weather conditions are another cause of accidents, not blamed on human factors, but are still influenced by the drivers.
  • Don’t tailgate. Too often I see people on the highway driving 70 m.p.h. with only the distance of one car length between them, not the 7 car lengths you learned about in driver’s education. When you’re behind a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, stay a safe distance away. If the truck were to stop short, you risk getting caught under the rear underride guard.
  • Be cautious of pedestrians when driving in neighborhoods or side streets at night. Many pedestrians still wear dark colors at night and are difficult to see. In the U.S., three-quarters of the pedestrians killed by a vehicle were walking on the street after dark.
  • Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes off the road and/or hands off the Eating andDrivingwheel. I am amazed at what I have observed people doing while driving including: eating, drinking, putting on make-up, shaving, reading the paper or a map, looking for something in the console or glove box, looking at a passenger, checking on a baby in the back seat and even kissing!

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we sell vehicles that have crash warnings, pedestrian detection, steering wheel controls (for radio and cell phone), lane departure alert, voice command, automatic high-beam lights, and more to minimize your chances of a crash. While the new technology is extremely helpful in preventing accidents, it is still entirely up to the driver to make good decisions.

Let’s work towards making 2017 a safer year on the roads. Together, we can make the roads safer and save lives.

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Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Uncategorized

Now that it’s spring and I hope the last snowfall is behind us, how do I bring back the luster to my car?

Gary Jaffarian will give you tips for making your vehicle shine and sparkle while you bring it back to life!

Washing close-upNow that it is officially spring, I’m hoping we can put those snow shovels away for a long time! There is still slush, salt and sand on the roads, which kicks back up onto your vehicle and can erode the exterior finish. The best defense, especially in winter and until the roads are clear, is to wash your vehicle weekly. Even in summer, if you have a garage, keep your vehicle parked in the garage, or in a shady spot when you’re at work, to keep the bright sunlight off the surface. Wash your vehicle when it is not hot to the touch. Washing and waxing by hand is preferable, but for many of us finding the time can be a challenge!

Here are some tips for professional results if you are a do-it-yourselfer:cleaning wheels
• Have two buckets available one with the soapy water and another with plain water. Apply warm, sudsy water with a sponge or soft mitt and do not wash your vehicle in the bright sunlight.
• Do not use dishwashing liquid, shampoo or laundry detergent on your vehicle, buy a washing solution meant for vehicles. If you do use a household cleaner, use a mild soap.
• Park your vehicle in the shade whenever possible, however, in the shade under a tree can mean sap, branches or other substances may end up on your vehicle. Do not park under a tree.
• If you do get sap or tree drippings on your vehicle, WD-40 is a great solution to remove it.
• After washing one side or section, rinse the vehicle off from top to bottom with a hose on a light setting. Higher settings or pressure washing can damage the vehicle or bring out the scratches. Do not soap up the entire vehicle before rinsing, so the soap is not on any part of your vehicle for too long.
• Keep the entire car wet. It will ensure that the droplets don’t dry on the paint, leaving water-spots.
• The dirtiest and grimiest part of a car is its lower body, fender and wheels. Scrub and clean them last using a different sponge with a non-abrasive scrubber.wire brush cleaning
• To clean the openings of the wheels, use a long, thin wheel brush. To clean the tires, make use of steel-wool-soap pads, one for each tire.
• To dry the car, use a chamois cloth or towel and set it flat on the surface. Drag it along the surface, starting from the roofs and moving down to the tires, making sure to pick up every water drop.waxing
• For windows, you can just wash with plain water and wipe them immediately, or use a glass cleaner. (Do not use a glass cleaner with ammonia on the dash board or seats.)
• If you’re really ambitious, apply one to two coats of a paste or liquid wax coating to protect and shine.

For professional results, bring it to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota’s Auto Spa for an affordable professional shine and/or interior detailing. If you have rust spots, dings or dents, take it to the award winning Jaffarian Body Shop, just down the street from our showroom at 600 River Street in Haverhill at exit 49 off Route 495. If you drop your vehicle off for cleaning, we’ll give you a ride home, to work or local shopping; or of course you’re welcome to wait in our comfortable waiting rooms with Wi-Fi, TV, and other amenities. Sometimes, it’s just not worth the effort to buy the products and do it yourself.

Enjoy the warmer weather that is just around the corner (hopefully!). Happy Spring!

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Gary Jaffarian

How do I check my oil?

Gary Jaffarian will explain how to check your oil in a few simple steps and why changing your oil is so important.

dipstick1Engine oil is vital to your vehicle’s well-being and essential to the operation of your vehicle. Oil reduces friction between moving parts and helps remove heat from the engine. At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota, we drain and refill your vehicle with factory-recommended oil, replace the oil filter and reset the maintenance indicator light. Most people prefer to have it done professionally by a factory-trained maintenance technician as we have at Jaffarian.

Let’s discuss what happens if you don’t change your oil on regular intervals, as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. You always want to check the manual or check on line to see what is recommended. If you don’t change the oil, the old oil will turn to a solid sludge, instead of a thick liquid oil. When it is not changed as often as recommended, the dirty oil becomes abrasive and causes needless engine wear and can result in catastrophic engine failure.

Older model vehicles often use conventional oil, which is lower cost, but needs to be changed every 3-5,000 miles. Newer model vehicles most often use synthetic oil which lasts for 8-10,000 miles. Synthetic oil better protects your engine and lasts longer, though costs more than conventional oil—but well worth it. It is easy to check your oil, but not so easy to replace it.

How to check your oil:check oil level
• Shut the engine off.
• Release the trunk hood lever in the vehicle and open the hood latch.
• Properly raise the bar to hold the hood up.
• Find the oil dipstick which generally has a yellow or orange handle on the top.
• Have a rag or paper towel handy.
• Remove the dip stick, clean it off and reinsert it, then pull it out again. Look for the level markers to be certain it is between high and low.
• If it closer to the low marker, you generally need to add 1-3 quarts of oil. Check the owner’s manual to see what type of oil is required.
• Watch our video on the Jaffarian You Tube Channel.

If you check your oil and it needs oil, schedule an appointment online or call us and we will change your oil and check all your fluids. Most people would not go through the trouble and risk a mishap to change their own oil, when for a small amount of money, you can come to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Service Department and relax in our waiting room watching TV, using you laptop or tablet while sipping a hot or cold beverage. There is even a playroom for young children. We will get you in and out within the hour and will use the specific oil recommended for your vehicle. You can schedule your appointment on line 24/7 or call (888) 718-4749 for an appointment Monday through Saturday.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please remember not to drink and drive. Happy StPatricks

Stay safe on the roads, and remember, spring is officially arriving next week!

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Gary Jaffarian

How can we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a family and avoid the drinking crowd?

Happy StPatricksGary Jaffarian will let you know about parades and other fun events to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the family—and a warning for the drinking crowd.

The area’s roots are deeply connected to the Irish immigrants coming to Boston. And while many of us are not from Irish descent, , the Greater Boston Area embraces the belief that “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick Day!” According to Wikipedia, people of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in the City of Boston, making up 15.8% of the population.

One of the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades takes place in South Boston (“Southie”) every year. It can be a great family day watching the Southie parade or attending the parade in  Lawrence. These parades are colorful, happy events and celebrate not only the Irish, but have a deep connection to our heroes—military, veterans, and first responders—police, fire and EMTs, who all take part in the parades. Most people dress in green street clothes or more flamboyant green costumes. Be sure to check out the more than 250 photos on the Southie St. Patrick’s Day Parade web site.

Here is the information for those who want to attend either one—or both parades—this coming weekend and next weekend.

Lawrence ParadeCity of LawrenceSt. Patrick’s Day Parade is held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 1 p.m.
The parade starts on Essex St. at Amesbury Street. The Parade goes over the Casey Bridge, down Parker St., left on Salem St. across Loring St. down Salem St. to Shawsheen Rd, back to Market Street ending at Market and Loring Streets. The parade ends at Relief’s’ In, (and no, it’s not an “inn”) at One Market Street, Lawrence. The significance of the celebration at the end of the parade at the Relief’s In is that in 1977, a group of Lawrence firefighters along with a few firefighters from Methuen, North Andover, Haverhill, Lowell, Nashua and Salem N.H. had a vision. They wanted a place to call their own to hang out, tell “war stories,” have Union meetings, retirement parties and family parties. The firefighters have always played a significant role in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

City of Boston— St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 1 p.m.southie parade2

The parade starts at the Broadway MBTA Stop in South Boston on West Broadway (moves easterly). Click here for a map of the parade route. Your best bet for viewing the parade is to stake out a spot anywhere along Broadway. Marchers continue to Telegraph Street to Dorchester Street and end at Andrew Square in So. Boston.

Other St. Patrick’s Day events in Boston include:

Dropkick Murphys:  It’s a St. Patrick’s weeklong tradition! Boston’s own Dropkick Murphys, famous for their song “Shipping Up to Boston,” do a string of hometown shows at the House of Blues.

Guided Walks of the Irish Heritage Trail:  Every March the Boston Irish Tourism Association provides guided walks of the Irish Heritage Trail; over 200 years of Irish history in Boston from Commodore John Barry to President John F. Kennedy. For more information click here.

A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan: For the past decade, A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn concerts with Brian O’Donovan have introduced a wide range of new and familiar musicians to audiences eager to celebrate the holiday in true Irish style.

JFK Library celebrates with the Greene-O’Leary School of Irish Dancers from the Metrowest area. Enjoy a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as these dancers demonstrate their athleticism, skill, and poise while presenting traditional and contemporary styles of Irish dance.

St. Patrick’s Day is officially on Friday March 17. The day may be spent enjoying a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage and it is likely the evening will be active across the Merrimack Valley and in the City of Boston. Whether you enjoy a Guinness or perhaps a green beer, there will be many heading out after work to raise a glass. For those of drinking age who want to celebrate, please remember to not don’t drink and drive. Find a designated driver, walk to your local bar or restaurant, call a cab or Uber, take public transportation, stay over a friend’s or get a hotel room—just stay off the road.  You have your life, your passenger’s life and those in the other vehicles on the road in your hands. Celebrate responsibly.

StPatricksDrinkinUnfortunately,  St. Patrick’s Day has ended in tragedy due to drunk drivers getting behind the wheel. Over St. Patrick’s Day from 2011 to 2015, a total of 252 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To help solve the problem of drinking and driving, they started a program called SaferRide and it has mobile apps available. NHTSA’s SaferRide app will help keep drunk drivers off the roads by allowing users to call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. Free downloads are available as follows:

For Android devices, from Google Play store:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhtsa.SaferRide

For Apple devices, from iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saferride/id950774008?mt=8

Enjoy the next two weekends celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the beginning of spring and don’t forget to set the clocks ahead one hour this Saturday night when you go to bed. We’ll lose an hour of sleep, but warmer weather is that much closer!   Happy St. Patrick’s Day and be safe.

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Gary Jaffarian

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