A local priest has spoken out over the cancellation of Hoboken, New Jersey’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. In his weekly column the Reverend slams those who partied at the Lepre-Con event, which replaced the Irish patron saint’s celebrations, and rapped Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
The family oriented parade, which was going into its 26th year in Hoboken, was a chance for Catholic families to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick, according to Father Alexander M. Santora, of Our Lady of Grace Church, writing in New Jersey Journal.
The priest maintained he witnessed “a thousand of the green-clad, rowdy, drunk, foul-mouthed, pub-crawling young people, littering the sidewalks with beer cans and bottles,” on Saturday, during Lepre Con.
Santora questioned why these revelers were allowed to take over the streets while “Catholic families and their friends cannot march on Washington Street on a Saturday or Sunday to celebrate St. Patrick.”
The annoyed Catholic priest rapped Zimmer who last year called for the St. Patrick’s Day parade to be held on a Wednesday. The parade organizers, proud of their 25-year tradition, argued that celebration of Ireland’s patron saint and the Irish should be a family event and take place on the weekend when all could attend. Zimmer and the council disagreed and so the parade was cancelled.
Although everyone had agreed that the St. Patrick’s Day post-parade party in Hoboken has gotten out of control, it now seems that the family aspect of the annual parade is being sorely missed, for the second year.
Zimmer’s prediction that the crime rates would drop was correct.
Last Saturday 20 people were arrested. These figures are a 41 percent decrease from 2011, when the final St Patrick’s Day parade took place in Hoboken, Juan Melli, a police spokesman told the Union City Reporter.
Arrests decreased from 34 to 20, ambulance calls went from 136 to 49, open container violations dropped from 115 to 9, and urination in public went from 59 to 17.
In response to these figures Mayor Dawn Zimmer said, “By decoupling the parade from the first Saturday in March, we have dramatically improved public safety and the quality of life for Hoboken residents.”