Hoboken’s streets will once again be filled with Irish pride, music, and dancing this March, the Hoboken Business Alliance confirmed this month.
On Saturday, March 4, the Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA) will host a St. Patrick’s Day float that will travel through the Mile Square City, making stops along the way for performances at three locations known for their heavy foot traffic.
Acknowledging long-running conversations about the potential for a rebirth of Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Roxanne Earley, Executive Director of the HBA, shared some of the results of a recent survey that showed 78% of respondents to be in favor of bringing back the annual parade in a family inclusive way.
“While poll results can sometimes be hard to read and interpret, the response to this survey could not have been clearer,” Earley said.
“Hoboken residents are excited to have St. Patrick’s Day festivities return to the city, but they also recognize that the impact of past parades, specifically the unsanctioned events that followed that were not in line with the image we want to portray.”
As NJ.com notes, the LepreCon bar crawl - not affiliated with the HBA - filled the parade void in 2012 and every year after (except for 2021's pandemic cancellation.)
LepreCon 2023 and the HBA's new St. Patrick's Day events will both be hosted on Saturday, March 4, though organizers say the two separate events will be happening in different areas of the city.
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The HBA's citywide St. Patrick's Day celebration will begin at noon on March 4 with a St. Patrick’s Day-themed float departing Jefferson Street and turning left onto 15th Street. The float, led by the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band, will head towards Jackson Plaza at Monroe and 7th where New Jersey band The Shots will perform.
The float will then proceed to the eastern edge of Church Square Park where a second performance will take place before ending its route outside of the Elks Lodge, for a final performance by The Shots as well as dancers from the Garden Street School of the Performing Arts.
“We are so excited to celebrate the important contributions of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans to the history and culture of the Mile Square City.” Earley added.
“This is just the first step in kicking off a spring and summer full of events that aim to energize our community and show everyone that Hoboken is the place to be for exciting events, the best shopping, and world-class restaurants.”
“When the Hoboken Business Alliance approached the Elks Lodge about being a part of a new kind of St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we jumped at the opportunity,” Mandee Bellarosa, the Lodge’s Exalted Ruler, said.
“Central to our mission is building stronger community by engaging families and our children with positivity, that’s what we are doing on March 4 in way that celebrates the strong Irish roots of our City.”
Mayor of Hoboken Ravi S. Bhalla said: “This new float is a great way to gather with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate Irish heritage this March.”