Twas a Great Day for the Irish in Newark Today (2004)

by Jule Spohn


Just got home a short time ago from the St. Patrick's' Day Parade here in Newark. Twas a glorious day indeed. Early in the morning the skies were overcast and it looked like it was going to rain. By the time the parade got started at 1pm the sun had broken out and remained out for the remainder of the parade. Was a little chilly (50 degrees or so) and a little windy but that didn't damper any ones spirits.

Began the day at the 9:15 Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral - not quite as crowded as last year - but was about 75% filled. Almost all of the St. Patrick's Day Committee were there including Edward Brannigan this year's Grand Marshall and his family. After Mass I went over to the Hamilton Pub and had a wonderful brunch. Sat at the table next to Ed Brannigan and spent a few minutes chatting with him. Too a nice photo of him and will get it over to Glenn in a few days.

Walked down to City Hall around noon or so and they were playing plenty of Irish songs, and there was a group of Irish children doing their fancy Irish dances. Mayor Sharpe James was there and read a proclamation welcoming this years parade and mentioned the important role the Irish played in the development of this city. After his speech I had a minute or two to chat with him.

The parade kicked off around 1:15pm. Broad Street wasn't too crowded when I first walked down toward City Hall, but by the time the parade got started there were plenty of people on the sidelines. Again, not as many as last year, but a goodly turnout anyway. The various bag pipe groups were great. There were many contingents from the various police and fire dept's from Newark and surrounding communities. All all of the high schools were represented and I especially enjoyed the groups from West Side and Barringer. There was a contingent from McGovern's and also from Cryan's. The Vailsburg and Ironbound Irish Assn's were also well represented. And for all of you Marines out there I must have heard the Marine Corps Hymn played as least ten times or more.

On the way back I stopped in McGovern's and the Hamilton Pub and could hardly move - they were both packed to the rafters.

All in all, it was a Great Day for the Irish, and everyone else, here in Newark today.

Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: