Irish heritage and community pride will be displayed in all its glory when the annual Throggs Neck St. Patrick’s Day brings 1000s of people together.
The parade will step off at noon on Sunday, March 13 at East Tremont Avenue and Lafayette Avenue, marching to a reviewing stand at Harding Avenue before ending at Harding and Brinsmade avenues, according to the parade committee.
This year’s celebration will honor Noreen and David Kilkenny as grand marshals.
The Kilkenny’s are very active with St. Raymond’s Gaelic Football Club (where David has been a coach for 18 years), St. Theresa’s Parish and the Chippewa Democratic Club.
They normally march ever year with players from the St. Raymond’s GFC, they said.
Honored Clergy member will be Father Christopher Devron.
He is a past volunteer teacher at Cardinal Spellman High School and currently the president of Fordham Preparatory School.
He is being honored for enriching the lives of his students and making quality and affordable education available to young people of modest means, according to the committee.
“The parade is really a wonderful celebration and a way that people reconnect with the Bronx and with their neighbors,” said Karin O’Connor, parade committee member.
Even though the parade takes place in the Throggs Neck community, it has become the Bronx’s parade, she added.
The parade brings together people who may no longer live in the borough, but who may return to it, she said. Adding it brings people to the community from the borough and beyond, he said.
Choosing a grand marshal is a difficult task for the parade committee, because there are many notable Irish-Americans in the community, said O’Connor.
“The fact that we have a rich and deep Irish pride and so many notable Irish people makes it hard to choose grand marshals and honored clergy year after year,” said O’Connor.
Noreen Kilkenny called the parade a harbinger of spring, and stressed that it is a religious event as well as a celebratory one.
“It is a big day for our family,” she said. “We have gone to the parade since it was founded.”
Her husband, who was born in Ireland, said one of the aspects of the parade that he enjoys is listening to traditional Irish music.
“It is culturally important to listen to the traditional Irish folk music that has been around for hundreds of years,” said David Kilkenny, adding about the parade, “It is important…to our community.”
In addition to the grand marshals and honored clergy, the all-volunteer parade committee has chosen a number of community people to posthumously salute as honorary grand marshals.
According to the parade committee, the honorary grand marshals are: Margaret Babcock, Carol Boyle, Monica Burns, John Byrne, Charlie Capezuti, Robert Connolly, Dan Cotter, Ann Devany, Elizabeth Kelleher, Thomas Laughlin, Michael ‘Mickey’ Martz, John Mullins, Joseph Murphy, Teresa O’Hara, Daniel O’Shea, George Peragine, Benny Randazzo, Anthony Riccardella, Mildred ‘Millie’ Scott, Ethel Tarpey and Alice Tell.