Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Parade March 12th

Derek Woods, a television journalist and videographer who has been covering the borough since 1993, was selected as the grand marshal of the 2017 Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Photo courtesy of Derek Woods

A celebration of Irish-American heritage is coming back to Throggs Neck this March.

The 19th Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade, an annual display of ethnic and civic pride, is scheduled to step off at noon on Sunday, March 12, marching along East Tremont Avenue from Lafayette Avenue.

There will be a reviewing stand at Harding and East Tremont avenues.

For 2017, the parade committee selected videographer Derek Woods as grand marshal, and three honored religious: Sr. Peggy Gannon, Sr. Joan Marie O’Leary and Sr. Betty McLaughlin, all members of Dominican Sisters of Sparkill who are active in the borough.

Additionally, the families of 17 community people who have passed away during the 2016 and who are honorary grand marshals will be marching in remembrance of their loved ones.

Woods described himself on the website of his videographer company, DWI Productions, as one of the “most prolific videographers to cover people, places, and events related to the Bronx.”

The videographer and journalist’s work began at BronxNet public access television at the inception of the network in 1993, and he covered and filmed the Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day parade for its first 17 years.

“I cannot tell you how honored I am that the parade committee is asking me to be the grand marshal,” said Woods, who added that a parade committee member told him he was a big cheerleader for the parade over the years.

The grand marshal honor has greater significance, indicated Woods, because both his parents were born in Ireland, he said.

Woods said he grew up near East 204th Street and now lives in Riverdale.

He co-founded a non-profit called the Riverdale Children’s Theater, which performs at Lehman College and Pelham Parkway’s Bronx House, he said.

The parade shows the strong Irish-American tradition in Throggs Neck, said Woods, but it is about even more than ethnic pride and the rich Irish history in the borough.

“It is a celebration of the community itself,” said Woods of the parade. “It is a day when everyone is Irish; it’s also a day for everyone to appreciate all the hardworking families that make Throggs Neck an incredible place to live and work.”

Gannon, O’Leary and McLaughlin all serve St. Benedict’s Parish. Gannon and O’Leary volunteer at Jeanne Jugan Residence, stated O’Leary.

According to parade committee information, the sisters have spent decades ministering to Bronx residents in hospitals, parishes and schools, as well as working with the elderly and homebound.

Honorary grand marshals for this year’s parade are Margaret Albin, Patrick Boyle, Veronica Christensen, Mary Fitzsimons, Teresa Fitzsimons, Eleanor Kelly, Arleen Knapp, Mary McEnery, Jack Mullane, Jack O’Connor, Kathy O’Sullivan, John Quinn, Sal Randazzo, Dennis Raftery Jr., Daniel Smith, John Steel and Barbara Wynne.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Derek Woods, the 2017 Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand marshal, reports on BronxNet as the new Yankee Stadium is unveiled in 2009.
Photo courtesy of Derek Woods

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