Although Brooklyn’s annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade hangs a little over a month away on the calendar, parade participant’s feet are are already in swing.
On February 6, Bay Ridge’s Saint Patrick’s Auditorium hosted the 41st annual installation dance for the Irish American Parade Committee. During the dance, Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians National President Mary Hogan was installed as the parade’s grand marshal.
This year’s parade honors the memories of former parade Grand Marshals Dennis Farrell, Vincent O’Connor, Father Colm Campbell and one of the committee’s founding members, Peter Heaney.
The aides to the grand marshal are Thomas Callahan – Catholic Education; Daniel Chiarantano – Ancient Order of Hibernians; Michael Coyne – Aide-At-Large; J.J. Devaney – Gaelic Sports; Brian Dilberian – Uniformed Services; Frank Jordan – Grand Council/Emerald Societies; Margaret McEneaney – Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians; Lisa Murphy – Irish Culture; and Agnes Newlinger – United Irish Counties of New York
While 2015 festivities served as the parade’s 40th anniversary, 2016 celebrations salute the centennial anniversary of the Easter Uprising, when insurrectionist Padraic Pearse, along with his political cohorts, led the 1916 rebellion against British rule in Ireland.
“Faith, history, truth and remembrance are the core of our parade,” said Kathleen McDonagh, one of the founding members of the Irish American Parade Committee. “We emphasize the intertwined history of Ireland and America. I hope our children and grandchildren continue it. We need younger blood.”
The annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade ceremonies are set to commence at 12 p.m. on March 20 between Ninth and 15th Streets on Prospect Park West, with a pre-parade mass to be held at 9 a.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 245 Prospect Park West.