With sunny skies and a chilly wind, the 22nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off from Marine Avenue and moved along Third Avenue to 67th Street, led by Grand Marshal U.S. Army Fort Hamilton Garrison Commander Colonel Joseph Davidson.
Local musical contingents included the Clann Eireann Pipe Band, Xaverian High School Pipe and Drums, Ridgemen Alumni Band, McKinley Junior High School Band, Bishop Kearney High School Marching Band and the Fort Hamilton High School Marching Band.
From the reviewing grandstand at 77th Street, Parade Commentator Peter Clavin once again did a splendid job describing each participating unit. Parade President Frankie Marra rode aboard a horse and carriage which, according to Jack Malone, has been an annual staple at the Bay Ridge parade for more than two decades.
Among the marchers with the Emerald Society of NYPD was Chief Kevin Ward, chief of staff to Commissioner Bill Bratton, and a graduate of Bay Ridge’s Xaverian High School (Class of 1981).
While it was a grand day here in Bay Ridge for marchers and parade-goers, it was not so great for the thousands of motorists, straphangers, bus riders and railroad commuters who rely on the MTA. Sunday was the first day of the newly-imposed rate increases. It now costs an unbelievable $16 to cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the highest bridge or tunnel cash toll in the nation!
After marching earlier in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Staten Island D.A. Dan Donovan – who is running for Congress — stopped at his Brooklyn campaign headquarters, 97th Street and Third Avenue, where he met with a host of prominent supporters including both former GOP mayoral candidates John Catsimatidis and Joe Lhota, GOP Kings County leader Craig Eaton, New York State Conservative Party Chair Mike Long, County Conservative Party leader Jerry Kassar, State Senator Marty Golden, City Council Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio, and Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis and Joseph Borelli.
On Saturday, City Councilmember Vinnie Gentile, also seeking the seat vacated by former Congress Member Mike Grimm, and who also marched in the Bay Ridge St. Pat’s parade, opened his campaign office at the Stars and Stripes Democratic Club, 7321 15th Avenue.
Adding their support for the occasion were Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and Alec Brook-Krasny plus Democratic District Leaders Joe Bova, Joanne Seminara and Betty Ann Canizio.
The scheduled Bay Ridge congressional debate for Tuesday, March 31, at 8:15 p.m., will now include Brooklyn Green Party Candidate James Lane. The venue for the political event has been moved to the Guild for Exceptional Children headquarters building, 260 68th Street, Brooklyn.