Irish ayes for St. Pat’s Parade

File Photo

Viewers will be looking for the luck of the Irish when it comes to weather for the 16th Annual Bronx St. Patrick’s Parade.

Parade organizers say that the festive occasion, which steps off at noon on Sunday, March 16 on East Tremont Avenue at Lafayette Avenue, with a reviewing stand at Harding Avenue, should go off without a hitch.

The parade celebrates Irish-Americans and will honor Grand Marshals Denis and Noreen Donoghue, chosen for their volunteer work at Calvary Hospital, and Honored Clergy Mother Alice Mary McGowan, leader of Jeanne Jugan Residence.

Also marching will be the families of 21 honorary grand marshals, people from the community who died in the past year or so who are being honored for their lives and service to their friends and neighborhoods.

Special Day

“When you walk down East Tremont Avenue and you see the smiles, and you see the people who used to live here who travel from far away who come back, it just makes it a special day,” said Lynn Gerbino, a parade committee member.

“Just to see everybody there – the kids having a ball, and the community having a great time – is what it is all about,” she added.

A big parade

There will be 19 bands, 50 marching groups, and all of the local Catholic parishes and schools will be participating, she said.

The honorees will ride, as they do every year, in a coach, said Gerbino.

Community groups, and even vehicles from groups like the Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Edgewater Park Volunteer fire departments, will be in the line of march.

Marchers prepare

The parade begins for the marchers, in what is now a tradition, with a mass at St. Benedict’s church.

That is followed by a breakfast at the church for marchers, sponsored by James McQuade of Schuyler Hill Funeral Home at 3535 E. Tremont Avenue.

McQuade said that his largesse was because of his Irish heritage and for his Throggs Neck community.

“It is a great way to introduce the honorees after mass,” he said, adding that it is also in the time-honored tradition of having a family meeting and a breakfast after mass.

He took over running it from the late Senator Guy Vellela, and said he is proud of being able to do this for his community.

Businesses near the parade route, generally see an uptick in business on parade day, said Gerbino.

Families also rent out spaces in local restaurants and catering halls, or meet in homes, for family reunions on parade day, said Sheila Haney, also a member of the parade committee.

The honorary grand marshals for the parade are: Tyler Albert, Donald Bloss, Mary Broderick, John Byrne, Ann Callahan, Ken Champlin, Steve Cioffi, Jack Featherstone, Richard Howley and Marion Hughes.

Also, Billy Kane, Edward Madden, John McCarthy, Bernard McCooey, Jacqueline “Jackie” McGinty, Brian Nash, Florence O’Connor, Chris Provenzano, Maureen Roche, Michael Sack, and Mike Tarpey.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 742–3393. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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