Get your green colors ready – the Bronx’s St. Patrick’s parade promises to be a great event again this year.
This year’s 16th Annual Bronx St. Patrick’s Parade will step off at noon on Sunday, March 16 at E. Tremont and Lafayette avenues in Throggs Neck.
As it is every year, the parade steps off on the day before the Big One in Manhattan on the official St. Patrick’s Day.
The grand marshals this year are Denis and Noreen Donoghue, who are being honored for their volunteer work, said parade committee member Sheila Haney.
“Mr. and Mrs. Donovan are originally from Ireland, they live here in the Bronx and they raised their family here,” she said. “They’ve donated a tremendous amount of their time to Calvary Hospital over the years, ever since they retired. It is a very worthy cause that they champion, so we recognize them for that.”
Denis is originally from County Kerry, while Noreen hails from County Cork.
This year’s honored clergy will be Mother Alice McGowan, a Little Sister of the Poor, and a life-long Bronx resident who serves as Mother Superior and CEO at Jeanne Jugan Residence on Schurz Avenue in Throggs Neck.
“Mother Alice heads up the Jeanne Jugan Residence, which does a great job,” said Haney. “She is an integral part of the Throggs Neck community.”
Mother Alice said that residents at Jeanne Jugan participate in the festivities by being driven in their handicapped accessible bus as part of the parade, and also by being wheeled to the reviewing stand at Harding and East Tremont avenues to watch the parade.
McGowan said that she was excited because she would be riding in the parade.
“I can’t get over the size of it, there are so many marching bands, and the parade does a lot for unity and collaboration,” she said. “It shows the spirit of the community.”
The format of the parade will follow the same tried and true format as in previous years, and has become something that families from all over the area and those who have moved out of the community look forward to every year.
“I think it has become a beautiful family tradition,” said Haney. “The streets are lined, people come back, it is like a big reunion for anyone who has moved away. I think it is a date on people’s calendars now. We are 16 years in now and it is fairly established.”
Families and attendees hold parties, celebrations and family reunions in homes and even rent out local beach clubs the day of the parade, she said.
Local pubs and Irish-related restaurants also stock in extra Guiness and corned beef fare for the hungry crowds.
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For more information, go to www.tnsaintpatricksdayparade.blogspot.com.