Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer has released the details for the first ever Irish cultural festival scheduled for March 14th.
The event comes as a response to the cancellation of the twenty-six year old Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade, traditionally held the first Saturday of March, after a heightened amount of crime materialized during 2011’s festivities.
The Hudson Reporter writes that the Irish-American cultural event is now scheduled for Wednesday, March 14th from 4pm until 10pm at Hoboken’s Sinatra Park. The free festival will showcase Irish step dancers, Irish music and Irish sport.
The Irish-American festival is the brainchild of several Hobokenites who were saddened to see the traditional parade cancelled for the city. Their “grassroots celebration” looks to provide Irish and Irish-American entertainment for the whole community to take part in and enjoy.
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Proceeds from the festival’s concessions will go to the Hoboken Shelter and the Hoboken American Legion.
Chris Halleron, one of the organizers of the event who was upset to see the end of the Hoboken parade, wrote in a press release that “Upon hearing the news, I immediately reached out to Lea Simone, Marc Gianotti, and Scott Katz — who run The Pier Sessions, which is an ongoing concert series at the Shipyard Marina.
Their model of a grassroots community concert with proceeds going to charity really established the framework for this event. In running this idea past Hoboken's City Hall, they were immediately supportive and enthusiastic, so we joined forces to produce the event at Sinatra Park.”
Mayor Dawn Zimmer faced hot criticism when she announced that the popular Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade would be cancelled after twenty six years of operation. Many businesspeople in Hoboken looked to the event as a huge source of revenue for the year, particularly bars and pubs. Many insisted that they will still open the day when the parade was supposed to be held - March 3rd.
Now though, a Hoboken pub-crawl has been organized for Saturday March 3rd. “Lepre-Con,” a spin-off of nearby New York City’s Christmas-themed bar crawl “SantaCon,” has several bars already included for participation. The crawl, which proclaims “You can cancel the parade, but you can’t cancel the party!” is expected to begin at 9am and last all through the night.