Hurricane Sandy was responsible for much death and destruction in New York last year. The people of New Jersey were some of the worst hit and are still recovering from the devastation caused by the superstorm. However, the community of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, are determined that Sandy will not prevent their 29th Saint Patrick’s Day Parade from taking place.
Many of the committee members are second generation planners who have watched and learned as their parents before them planned the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations of the previous 28 years. Denis Kelly, chairman of the Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one such person and has been given the task of helping a community that has suffered much loss and heartache to celebrate their strength and solidarity in a time of crisis.
Chairman Kelly rallied committee members with this heartfelt message:
Dear Committee Members:
The Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade will definitely march down the Boulevard in Seaside Heights on March 9, 2013. The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has impacted everyone in the Shore Community. Our parade has traditionally been the kick off for tourism at the Jersey Shore every year. This year, more than ever, we will help to Restore the Shore and bring people into the region to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate the resilience of the Jersey Shore.
The theme of this year’s parade will be to celebrate the shore and rebuild stronger and better than ever. We will help raise money and charitable contributions to support the rebuilding efforts for the entire region.
Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Chairman
The parade will be the first major public event in Seaside Heights NJ since Superstorm Sandy hit in October 2012 and the committee have worked towards making sure that it is an event that will be enjoyed by all and will help restore their wounded community to its former beauty.
A great turnout is expected as volunteer groups and civic leaders as well as the entire community are invited to celebrate Saint Patrick and acknowledge the hard work and efforts of all those involved in rebuilding of the community.
After the blessings of a traditional Irish mass at 10 am in the chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the St. Patrick’s parade will begin on the Seaside Heights Boulevard at 12 noon.
The parade will include several NJ Pipe Bands and local High School Bands who will be joined by Irish cultural groups such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH), the Friendly Sons of Shillelagh and the Women of Irish Heritage.
Not to be missed, is the aerial fly-by that will be performed by the Ocean County Air Support Squadron during the parade.
Several of the Ocean County and Seaside Heights businesses, restaurants and arcades will be open on the holiday and the committee urge the public to show up early as parking will be limited.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?