The late Dale Tooley -- longtime Denver District Attorney, one-time mayoral candidate and full-time Irishman -- is remembered every year in Denver, when a downtown street is officially, if temporarily, changed to Tooley Street for St. Patrick's Day. For years, the street sign at Wazee and 17th streets was the one switched out to honor Tooley. But this year, Mayor Michael Hancock and other notables headed over to 20th and Blake streets for the ceremony, which for the first time changed Blake rather than Wazee to Tooley Street.
The reasons for the switch are a little murky -- although most of the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade, will run along Blake rather than Wazee. (Years ago, it went through the heart of downtown, but lately, its been centered in the Ballpark Neighborhood.) And at the same time members of the city's Traffic Engineering Crew attached the sign they'd made, they also painted a nice green stripe down the middle of that parade route.
At least the move of Tooley Street to Blake neatly avoids another collision: Back in 2001, when Jack A. Weil, the founder of Rockmount Ranch Wear, turned 100, the street sign at the southeast corner of 17th and Wazee streets was changed to Jack A. Weil Boulevard. Weil was the oldest CEO in the country when he passed away in 2008, and the honorary sign in his honor is still up -- right across the street from the sign that used to be changed to Dale Tooley Street every March.
Denver's St. Patrick's Day Parade kicks off tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at 27th and Blake; current DA Mitch Morrissey is the honorary grand marshal.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.