Shamrocks line avenue for parade

Elected officials survey the festivities, from left, Public Advocate Bill deBlasio, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Congressman Joseph Crowley.

On a bright shamrock of a day for the Irish and Bronxites, the annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade offered another full-throated, brogue-accented hurrah, its 14th.

An Irish Sea of people wearing green lined E. Tremont Avenue between Lafayette and Harding avenues on Sunday, March 11, to watch the parade. The weather was sunny with a wee chill familiar to the Irish climate.

Joining grand marshals Justice Douglas McKeon and Regina Gallagher-Marengo and honored clergy Sr. Bridget O’Sullivan, were elected officials including Congressman Joseph Crowley, Comptroller John Liu, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Councilman Jimmy Vacca, marching and riding along the parade route.

“I love it; this day is just superb and we couldn’t have prayed for more beautiful weather,” McKeon said. “To share it with my neighbors as something that is a symbol of what it is to be a Bronxite is quite an honor.”

Among the organizations, groups and businesses marching in the parade were Throggs Neck Home Owners Association, Chippewa Democratic Club, Fancy Feet, St. Brendan’s School, Villa Maria Academy, P.S. 14, First Lutheran Church Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts 182, P.S. 71 cheerleaders, Monsignor Scanlan High School, Throggs Neck Merchants Association, Westchester Square Merchants Association, P.S. 304, Throggs Neck Girls Softball League, Preston High School, Warriors Cheerleaders, St. Frances de Chantal, 45th Precinct Explorers, P.S. 72, St. Benedict’s parish, St. Raymond Academy for Girls, Country Club Civic Association, Iona College, Manhattan College, Fort Schuyler House, New York Community Bank, Guys and Dolls, and Liberty Tax Service, among others.

The parade serves a fundamental need in the community by providing an opportunity for everyone to come together, said Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns.

“The parade is an opportunity for the people of Throggs Neck to show their pride in their community, and to enjoy a communal celebration with their neighbors,” Kearns said.

The parade has grown immensely since first being founded by a committee comprised of members of the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association 14 years ago, Vacca said, adding that when he was district manager at CB 10, the kernel for the idea that became the parade came out of a meeting he held at the board office.

“The TNBA has been the nucleus of the group that is getting this parade bigger and bigger every year,” Vacca said. “I am glad that this has put Throggs Neck on the map in a very big way. People from all over, including out of town, come here to enjoy the parade and eat in our restaurants.”

The parade has included a diverse array of community groups from its inception, said Joseph Carrozza, a Morris Park resident who marched with his Knights of Columbus chapter from the first parade in 1998 to 2006.

“It is a wonderful parade for the Irish and everyone who is Irish today,” said spectator and Throggs Neck resident Marie Christian. “St. Patrick’s is a blessed day and it is beautiful to see everyone participating.”

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