1991 Grand Marshal Agnes Gillespie renames Broadway, the Parade route, "St. Patrick's Way" one week before the parade, March 9, 1991. Photo: Tom Walsh
St. Patrick's Day Parade - Bayonne
Bayonne celebrates "Saint Patrick's Month"
with a number of March activities building up to and following
their beloved parade held the first Sunday after March 17.
Among these are a ceremonial raising of the Irish flag over
the Municipal Building, the official re-naming of the parade
route to Saint Patrick's Way, and the display of Irish
crystal, china, and other imports in the building's lobby. The
Grand Marshal, selected by committee vote in January, is
invested with an official sash and walking stick at a brunch
attended by about 250 people on the last Sunday in February.
On the morning of the parade, a special Mass, beginning with a
procession of the Grand Marshal and his aides, is hosted by
one of four sponsoring Catholic churches. The parade itself
includes ten bagpipe bands and several marching bands, along
with contingents from the police force and fire department.
Local schools, sports groups, and scouts participate as well.
At the conclusion of the parade, a two-hour party that is
attended by more than 1,000 people is held at a local high
school. This event is a family tradition for many Bayonne
residents and a homecoming for former residents. Corned beef
sandwiches are served, Irish dancing is performed by local
students, and the bagpipers who marched in the parade all mass
together in the gym for a grand finale of Irish tunes. The
parade is broadcast on television ten times during the
following weeks. It has been held each year since 1982
following a 71-year hiatus.
Originally submitted by: Donald M. Payne, Representative (10th District).
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