Read more: From March 2011 - ‘Out of control’ Hoboken St. Patrick’s parade faces major changes
Hoboken, New Jersey’s, St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee has cancelled the 2012 event after the city decided the event should be held on a Wednesday evening, instead of the first Saturday of March.
A letter published on their website explained why they made the “heartbreaking” decision to cancel the event which has been running for 26 years.
The letter read, “The city of Hoboken’s inability to protect our spectators, bands and participants led us to this heartbreaking decision.”
They continue, “The idea of marching in a parade, in the dark, on a week night, is as insulting as it is unreasonable."
The committee said they regretted cancelling the parade which “since 1986, the first Saturday in March has been a glorious day to honor Saint Patrick and our Irish heritage.”
Hoboken City’s move to switch the parade to a Wednesday came after last year’s rowdy parade. The police made 34 arrests and issued 296 citation violations, according to NBC New York, for urinating in public and carrying open containers of alcohol.
Mayor of Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer, said the decision to move the parade’s date was “to reduce the amount of partying that occurs."
In a letter sent to the committee last month, Zimmer said that although the parade is a “great celebration of Irish heritage” it had become marred by criminal activity and unrest.
She said, “Residents and business owners suffer significant property damage and crime spikes to unacceptable levels, parents are afraid to let their children play outside and many residents simply feel forced to leave town or close their businesses for the day…I believe that the public safety concerns pose too much of a threat to our community, and I stand by my decision.”
In a statement released by the mayor she said, “While the parade is a beautiful event, the impact of everything that happens after the parade in our community, sexual assault, property damage, children can’t walk around on their own, it’s an unsafe environment. That’s what this decision is all about, making sure our community is safe."
The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade committee said on their site that they will consider invitations to march in other St. Patrick celebrations.
They added, “Like our ancestors before us, some of whom are credited with building Hoboken, we are not “St. Patrick’s Day Irish.” We are committed, proud, and blessed with long memories.
As is our tradition, we cordially invite everyone to worship with us at our Irish Mass honoring Saint Patrick on Saturday, February 25th at 5:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church.”
Here are the highlights from last year's St. Patrick's Day parade from Hoboken Online: