A crowd of 4,000 to 5,000 people, including people who lined the parade route, came to the first Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade in Park Slope since 2019 on Sunday.
The parade, which has been sponsored by the Irish American Parade Committee since 1975, honors not only the famed Irish saint but those who fought for American independence during the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn, which took place at the Old Stone House in Park Slope.
This year’s grand marshal was Martin Maher, longtime Brooklyn parks commissioner.
His aides represented such institutions as the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the United Irish Counties Association, the Brooklyn Shamrocks Football Club, the O’Donnell Academy of Irish Dance ant St. Saviour Catholic Academy.
Martin Bellew, who was supposed to represent the Grand Council of United Emerald Societies and the Con Edison Emeralds, died before the parade, so his brother, Mark Bellew, marched instead, to represent him, according to a spokesperson for the parade.
There were marching bands and floats galore.
Among the marching bands, the spokesperson said, were those representing Fort Hamilton High School in Bay Ridge and the Academy of St. Joseph the Worker in Windsor Terrace, as well as the Clann Eireann Pipe Band. Clann Eireann, according to its website, is “believed to be the oldest, continuous and independent pipe band in the United States.”
Police officers and firefighters also very prominent, and there were delegations from the NYPD, the FDNY, the Garda (the national police force of the Republic of Ireland) and more.
Since the yearly parade honors the Battle of Brooklyn, veterans’ group, such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, were an integral part of the parade. A ceremony honoring those who died on 9/11 was held before the parade.
As is usual with such parades, the Park Slope St. Patrick’s Parade attracted officials.
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, whose newly-redrawn district includes areas near the parade route and who is now campaigning for re-election, was there. So was Sean O’hAodha, deputy consul general of the Republic of Ireland in New York
The parade stepped off from Bartel-Pritchard Square, then proceeded down 15th Street to 7th Avenue, along 7th Avenue to Garfield Place, up Garfield Place to Prospect Park West and along Prospect Park West to 15th Street.