The Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day Parade is marching into its 20th year.
The annual celebration of civic pride and Irish-American culture will be celebrating its two-decade anniversary when it steps off at noon on Sunday, March 11.
The route begins at East Tremont and Lafayette avenues, marching down East Tremont Avenue to Harding Avenue, where there will be a reviewing stand.
This year’s grand marshals are Eileen and Peadar Tierney, whose 20 years as proprietors of the Throggs Neck Clipper coincides with the parade’s founding and flourishing.
The parade committee named the Tierneys grand marshals because they felt they were representative of so many Irish immigrants who came to New York in the 1980s with dreams and ambitions, they stated.
The Tierneys said that they accepted the honor with a sense of pride.
“We were thrilled and very honored,” said Peadar, with Eileen adding “We were a little surprised, but we were thrilled.”
They are both from Kilcogy in County Cavan, Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1981 for Peadar and 1985 for Eileen. They met in a Woodlawn tavern in 1985.
They moved to Throggs Neck in 1989, where they started a family and raised three children, where they became restaurant proprietors at what was a community institution.
They have contributed to many local and Irish causes, including the Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 3 and St. Raymond’s Gaelic Football, according to the parade committee.
Peadar said that in their years of working at the restaurant the couple was active in the community: supporting causes and benefits, including the parade.
He recalled that the parade day was always a busy one with marchers coming in for an Irish breakfast and sometimes a pint of Guinness beer, while Eileen said that she recalls marching in the parade with her children, who all attended local schools.
Christopher Dalton, vice president of the Throggs Neck Benevolent Association, as well as a parade committee member, said it is sometimes difficult selecting the grand marshals because there are many worthy candidates.
“Given that this is our 20th year, and the Throggs Neck Clipper closed after 20 years, we thought it was appropriate to have Eileen and Peadar as our grand marshals,” said Dalton.
Dalton said that it is great to see the community come together and that the parade shows tremendous pride.
“There is a tremendous show of support by the community from people who come out year after year to participate in the Mass, breakfast and parade,” said Dalton. “The parade gets bigger and bigger every year in terms of spectators.”
The parade will also honor 16 honorary grand marshals. Dalton said these honorees have passed on but contributed to the community in one way or another.
The honorary grand marshals are Angela Berger, Sean Brunner, Ted Carstenson, Lynn Devine, Brendan Devine, Fr. Paul Devine, Anthony DiGirolamo, Florence Robinson Evers, Mary Elizabeth Finucane, Joseph Francis Finucane, James Kelly, Robert Leidy, Winifred ‘Kay’ Loreth, Charlie Reilly, Andy Werkhoven and Maureen Zawar.
Family members and friends of the honorary grand marshals will be marching along the route.