BOROUGHWIDE — Irish eyes were smiling as the Brooklyn Irish American Parade Committee installed the grand marshal and aides for the annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade at a dance held on Saturday, Feb. 1 at St. Patrick’s Auditorium.
Founded in 1975, this year marks the 45th anniversary of the parade, the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the borough. Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher will be this year’s grand marshal. The aides-to-the grand marshal are Sean Bellew, Rita Carron, Raymond Conlon, Maureen Foley, Adam Keaney, Mark Langton, Denis McCaffrey, Erin O’Donnell and Sue Walsh.
This year’s parade will be held in memory of Parade Committee member and volunteer Kevin Peter Carroll, 1982 parade Grand Marshal Charles Hynes, 1994 parade Grand Marshal Alfred Jennings and 2010 parade aide Edward Duffy. The parade is always held in remembrance of the heroes and victims of 9/11.
The Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade was first conceived when a group of Brooklyn’s Irish American citizens came together to highlight the vast contributions made by the Irish to America. The first parade took place in 1976, the country’s bicentennial year.
According to Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade Co-Chair Michelle Brennan-Conlon, the parade’s aims are to honor St. Patrick, the patron of Ireland; to remember the Battle of Brooklyn; and to pay tribute to the Irish for their many significant and historic contributions to the borough, city, state and nation.
“Faith, history, tribute and remembrance became the core of the parade, highlighting the vast contributions of the Irish to the church, to the uniformed services, to labor and law, to public and civic life, to education and healthcare,” said Brennan-Conlon.
“This Brooklyn tradition continues today, 45 years after the first parade. Our grand marshal and aides represent many different organizations and are from diverse backgrounds and various neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. They represent the best of Irish America,” Brennan-Conlon added.
The 45th Annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade will take place on Sunday, March 15. Step-off is at 1 p.m. from Bartell Pritchard Square.
St. Patrick’s is located at Fourth Avenue and 97th Street in Bay Ridge.