No one is as psyched up for the upcoming Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the grand marshals and honored clergy.
The cherished parade in Throggs Neck celebrating the patron saint of Ireland and all things Irish will step off at noon on Sunday, March 13 at Lafayette and East Tremont avenues.
When it does, it will pay high honors to three grand marshals and an honored clergy member.
The all-volunteer parade committee chose community leaders Noreen and David Kilkenny as its grand marshals and Father Christopher Devron, a Jesuit priest who is Fordham Prep’s president, as honored clergy.
The Kilkennys, who live in Waterbury-LaSalle, are very involved in the St. Raymond’s Gaelic Football Club, where they celebrate Irish heritage and sports at the youth league. They march under the club’s banner every year.
Noreen Kilkenny said that it’s great to see children of all nationalities play Gaelic football and march in the parade.
David added that the parade serves as a way to reunite all of the children prior to the start of the season in April.
“Our kids deserve our time and deserve our attention, he said. “They should be out in the sun and having fun.”
David Kilkenny said that he has fond memories of growing up in Ireland in County Sligo, and that his heritage plays an important role in his everyday life.
The Kilkenny’s are also very involved in St. Theresa Parish and the Chippewa Democratic Club.
Noreen Kilkenny called the parade the heralding of spring, and said that she hopes that the religious aspect of the parade, which will include a Mass for the marchers before they line up, is truly remembered.
Father Devron, who started his teaching career at Cardinal Spellman High School, said that this would be his first year attending the parade.
“I feel honored not only for me but for Fordham Prep, which has a 175-year-old tradition of scholarship in the Bronx,” said Devron. “It is a place where many Irish-American immigrants in the Bronx have come to see their lives transformed.”
His participation in the parade comes with all of Fordham Prep’s tradition and history in the community, he said.
“I had heard about this parade but never had the opportunity to attend,” said Devron. “I think for me personally just given my own love for the Bronx and what it represents in my own formation as a teacher and educator, I am very happy to be a part of it.”
The parade committee also selected more than a dozen honorary grand marshals, notable people from the community who passed away during the past year, according to the committee.
Honorary grand marshals include: Margaret Babcock, Carol Boyle, Monica Burns, John Byrne, Charlie Capezuti, Robert Connolly, Dan Cotter, Ann Devany, Elizabeth Kelleher, Thomas Laughlin, Michael ‘Mickey’ Martz, John Mullins, Joseph Murphy, Teresa O’Hara, Daniel O’Shea, George Peragine, Benny Randazzo and Anthony Riccardella.
As is the case every year, a reviewing stand will be located towards the end of the parade route, at Harding and East Tremont avenues.
Thousands are expected to line the parade route.