By Robyn Quinn
Did you know there is a St. Patrick’s season? Well, there is. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, when you consider how the other holidays have expanded.
Thanksgiving is not just one day with a parade and a big meal with your family. Thanksgiving has expanded from Wednesday night to Sunday. Schools are scheduling their reunions around the holiday. It’s a chance to catch up with friends and family.
Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival is 15 days of celebrating. Speaking of spring, Easter is now Spring Break for schools. They have an entire week off, not to mention Good Friday.
And of course there is the Christmas Holiday that goes from the Friday after Thanksgiving to Jan. 6, a.k.a. Little Christmas.
And so we have a St. Patrick’s Season. It begins around the end of January and goes until St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
March 15, 2014, will be the 36th annual Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. On that day the parade committees will sponsor three events to celebrate the Irish Patron Saint.
The day starts with an Irish Mass at Morristown’s Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Next up there is a free show presented at the Morristown Green with entertainment by historical re-enactors, Irish dancers, harpists and other surprises.
The big finale of the season is our parade. In honor of St. Patrick the parade hosts thousands of participants marching down South Street. There will be music, dancers, floats, roller derby skaters, fire trucks, dogs and … green everywhere you look!
Photos by Robyn Quinn; please click icon below for captions.
The parade doesn’t just come together overnight. It takes a lot of planning and hard work. Luckily the Irish have always been a hard working group of people. But they don’t just work hard, they play hard too. It was only logical that the Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade committees would take the hard work of organizing one of New Jersey’s largest St. Patrick’s parades and turn it into fun! And so was born the St. Patrick’s season!
The Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade is a privately funded event. The money is raised through corporate sponsorships, contributions to the parade journal, and fundraisers. To kick off the St. Patrick Parade season, the finance committee hosts a Sponsor Appreciation cocktail party for the Corporate Sponsors of the parade. The evening was hosted by Desmond Lloyd (2009 Grand Marshal) at the Grand Café. (See slideshow.)
The next event of the “season” is the Parade’s Celebrity Bartender night. On Feb. 5, some of the past Grand Marshals will be serving cold beer and warm conversation at The Grasshopper Off the Green. For a $20 donation you can enjoy entertainment by bagpipers, Irish step dancers and the Irish musical group Lagan’s Love. There will be appetizers and photo ops with Jeff Rawding, the 2014 Grand Marshal-elect.
Please join us for some holiday cheer. Season’s Greetings!