A festive community tradition is back.
The 21st Annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled to step off at noon on Sunday, March 10 on East Tremont Avenue at Lafayette Avenue in celebration of Irish-American heritage and of community pride.
This year’s grand marshals are former Congressman Joseph Crowley and Margaret ‘Peggy’ McKeegan.
McKeegan was a longtime aide to the late-Senator Guy Velella through 2004 and she’s been a very active member of St. Frances de Chantal parish for decades, according to the parade committee.
The parade will also have a religious honoree this year: Sr. Teresa Barton, the principal of Villa Maria Academy.
The parade committee, stated, “It is excited to bring an amazing celebration of Irish pride and Bronx pride to the streets of Throggs Neck on March 10.”
“Mr. Crowley, Mrs. McKeegan and Sr. Teresa Barton are all beacons of light for our community and we are delighted that they will lead the 21st Annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” stated the parade committee.
Crowley, who left U.S. Congress at the start of this year, said he was moved and touched by the honor and that the Irish experience in America is one of “grit, toil and trial.”
They are among the many ethnic and racial groups that have contributed mightily to the borough and to New York City, he said.
“It is not just a great day for the Irish in New York, it is a great day for Bronxites in general,” said Crowley of parade day.
Crowley said that his Irish heritage is very important to him and he can trace his ancestry back to County Armagh and County Laois.
He said that he believes part of his success in the U.S. Congress was due to his respect for other cultures and that this grew out of respect for his own ancestors.
Crowley added he recently took a trip to Ireland where he took part in a centennial celebration of the Irish parliament.
He has attended the parade pretty much every year of its existence, he said, both because of his Irish roots and as a representative of the community.
McKeegan has called Throggs Neck home since 1966 and raised four children in the community, three of which chose to remain and call it home as well.
She said she attended some of the first planning committee meetings for the parade after it was launched 21 years ago as part of her work with the NYS Senate.
McKeegan said that she “was very shocked” when she heard that she was chosen as a grand marshal, adding that she believed at first they were calling about another family member.
She expects that her extended family, which she said includes ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, will make quite a showing in the parade.
“I think there will be a little crowd around me in the parade,” she said, adding that her family is talking about creating banners and T-shirts for the festive occasion.
Photo courtesy of TN St. Patrick’s Parade Committee