Seventeen years after the first Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off up Morris Avenue the tradition continues on Saturday, March 16 at 1:00 p.m. sharp with thousands of marchers and spectators gathering to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
This year’s Grand Marshal, Jim Tansey, will lead the march of bagpipe and high school bands, local police and fire department units, veterans groups and many more organizations through the center of Union.
“The Parade Committee is very proud to have as fine an Irishman as Jim Tansey leading our parade,” said Kelly Anne Scanlon, General Chairman of the 2013 Parade.
“We are looking forward to another brilliant parade celebrating St. Patrick and our Irish heritage.”
This year’s parade is dedicated to all of those who have been touched by Parkinson's disease.
Thanks to the efforts of the Parade Committee working behind the scenes year-round, the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade has grown from drawing 10,000 spectators during its inaugural run in 1997 to more than 40,000 onlookers last year.
In keeping with a parade tradition, the Union County Emerald Society will host officials from Shannon, Ireland. This will be the 17th year the guests from Shannon will march in the Union County celebration of St. Patrick.
A Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Elizabeth at 9 a.m. to begin the day followed by a welcoming reception in the church hall. St. Patrick’s Church is located at 215 Court Street in Elizabeth, NJ 07206.
The family-friendly festivities kick off at 11am. at the reviewing stand located at the corner of Morris and Stuyvesant Avenues in Union Center with a warm Irish welcome from parade officials, traditional Irish music and Irish step-dancing. The one-mile parade will begin at 1 p.m. at Commerce Street and Morris Avenue, proceeding east on Morris Avenue to Union Center and south onto Stuyvesant Avenue, ending at Roosevelt Avenue.
Again this year, the parade will feature a Kid Zone presented by the Union Special Improvement District. The Kid Zone will feature inflatable rides, walk-around entertainers and activities for the whole family. Located on Stuyvesant and Morris Avenues, the Kid Zone brings additional amusement for young visitors, as well as the young-at-heart.
The following organizations make up the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee: The John Cryan Association, The Thornsticks, The Irish-American Society of Union, The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Union County, the Joseph Nugent Sr. Association, the Kenilworth Veterans Center//VFW 2230, the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Rahway, the Union County Emerald Society, the Sheridan School of Irish Dance, the Union County Irish-American Association, the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians of Elizabeth, the Garden State Ceili Club, St. Helen’s R.C. Church in Westfield, St. John the Apostle in Linden, St. Columcille Pipes & Drums, Knights of Columbus Council 253 in Elizabeth, Union County Police and Fire Pipes and Drums, Knights of Columbus Council 4504 in Union, Molly Maguire’s Pub, the Blackthorn Pub and the Church of the Little Flower in Berkeley Heights.
For more information about the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade please visit www.unioncountystpatricksdayparade.com.