A book party and exhibition to celebrate the book 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade publication will take place on Tuesday, November 29 at the New York Irish Center in Queens.

Written by historian John Ridge and edited by Lynn Mosher Bushnell, the book chronicles the evolution of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the city. Published by Quinnipiac University Press, the historical account offers photos through the generations from America’s longest running parade.

“This is the first time that the history of the parade has been chronicled,” said Bushnell, the vice president of public affairs at Quinnipac University in Connecticut.

“It’s an important facet of the history of New York,” she told the Irish Voice.

“Much of city was built on the backs of Irish Americans, and it’s another way of helping that story stay fresh for generations.”

Bushnell, who has marched in the parade for almost two decades, said the significance of the Irish holiday is still very much alive.


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“Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” Bushnell reflected.

“For me it goes deeper than that. It’s about sharing the pride of your heritage with literally millions of people that day.”

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1762 by a band of homesick Irish ex-patriots and Irish military who served with the British Army stationed in the American colonies.

As well as a book signing on the 29th, the 2011 parade grand marshal, best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark, will be honored alongside Joe King, proprietor of Antun's of Queens Village and Bridie Mitchell, LAOH aide to the 2010 grand marshal.

The exhibition of photographs that reflect the contents of the book will remain in the New York Irish Center throughout the month of December.

The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. at the New York Irish Center at 1040 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.  It is open to the public. RSVP at 718482-0909 or 250years@newyorkirishcenter.org.