The mayor of Hoboken, NJ has again refused to allow a St. Patrick’s Day parade in her town, citing rowdiness and drinking as her concerns.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer has stated the only way the parade can take place is on a weekday with far smaller crowds.
She said she believes this would curb excessive drinking and that there would also be far fewer public order issues.
However, parade organizers are refusing to move from their position that the parade must be held on a Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day and have challenged the mayor to allow it to take place again.
The upshot appears to be there will no parade again in Hoboken, just across the Hudson from Manhattan, this year.
Two years ago, after a run of 26 years, Mayor Zimmer, dismayed at the number of arrests made and the out-of-control revelers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. She said the parade should be held on a Wednesday, rather than at the weekend, in an attempt to quash any disturbances.
However, the parade organizers disagreed and, so, despite the popularity of the parade it was canceled.
The last two years some revelers have taken part in the 'Lepre-Con,' a pub crawl. Participants dressed up as leprechauns – or at least all in green – and were expected to visit dozens of bars in the area on a Saturday.
The mayor’s position was strengthened in 2012 when the Irish anti-defamation league sided with her.
John R.Howe, a former Grand Marshal of the parade, had accused the Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer of racism against the Irish. However, the Anti-Defamation Federation backed the mayor calling the parade “distasteful and “crime ridden”.
The statement, sent out by recording officer Mary Beth Phillips said “The Officers and Members of the Irish Anti-Defamation Federation, based in Philadelphia, would like to support Hoboken's Mayor Dawn Zimmer, in her decision to cancel the St. Patrick's Day parade in her town.
“Although we are saddened by the loss of this tradition (what should be an all-generations, family-friendly celebration of Ireland's patron saint, and display of our Irish heritage and culture for those claiming Irish roots), we think Mayor Zimmer was wise to put a stop to the distasteful, dangerous, and crime-ridden activities that have accompanied the parade."
For 25 years before last year’s cancellation the parade was held on a Saturday when families were all available to attend. Typically bars and restaurants opened as early as 8am, according to Fox News.
Critics of the long running parade said the problem was not the parade itself but those who were partying around the clock.