Irish eyes, and Mother Nature, were smiling at Saturday’s parade in Morristown

Wick Hegarty, An Clar, Lenahan and Heritage Irish Dance Schools at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Wick Hegarty, An Clar, Lenahan and Heritage Irish Dance Schools at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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By Jeff Sovelove

Even Mother Nature was smiling on Saturday, shining bright sunshine on the 40th annual
Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade in Morristown.

“For me, the parade is always the first sign of spring. Forget about Groundhog Day. This means spring is right around the corner and it’s a great day for the Irish. Everyone here is Irish today,” said parade announcer Mike Philbrick.

“It was awesome,” echoed Grand Marshal Father Patrick “Paddy” O’Donovan, pastor of Notre Dame of Mt. Carmel Church in Cedar Knolls.

Grand Marshal Father Patrick 'Paddy' O'Donovan at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Grand Marshal Father Patrick ‘Paddy’ O’Donovan at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle

“The parade for me was just a magnificent display of all of the services that go on in this wonderful county.  You see them all on display in one moment but they seem to do it in their own quiet way in corners of Morris County that we hardly even know of.  Here they are on full display on a wonderful day, St. Patrick’s Day, with the sun shining,” he said.

Thousands of green-attired spectators lined South Street for two hours to cheer for more than 120 groups and organizations in the line of march, as temperatures soared into the balmy upper 40s.

Slideshow photos by Jeff Sovelove. Click/ hover on images for captions:

Wick Hegarty, An Clar, Lenahan and Heritage Irish Dance Schools at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Skating Club of Morris, NJ, at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Steele, 6, Kensington, 3, and Xander, 2, of Chatham had lots of fun chalking the shamrocks at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Father Patrick "Paddy" O'Donovan, the 2019 Parade Grand Marshal at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A four legged parade goer appreciating the music at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Jake, 11, of Morristown shows off his St. Patrick's best at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Maggie, 1, of Morristown, dancing to Paddy and the Pale Boys at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Wick Hegarty, An Clar, Lenahan and Heritage Irish Dance Schools at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Thomas Jefferson/Sussex Avenue School Band at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Gov. Phil Murphy greets the parade committee members at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Lucas, 3, of Boonton chills during the music at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty and First Lady Mary Dougherty with Morris Township Mayor Jeff Grayzel at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
American Legion Post 390 of Denville
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) greets state Assemblymen Tom Giblin of Middlesex County at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Irish wolf hounds at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Sean, 4, of Rockaway and his mom at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Father Patrick "Paddy" O'Donovan, center, the 2019 Parade Grand Marshal at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Parade panorama at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Jersey Juggler at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Molly Malone's at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
The Dublin Pub at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Gov. Phil Murphy with state Assemblymen Tom Giblin at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
A leprechaun at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
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Mayor Tim Dougherty and First Lady Mary Dougherty marched, of course, and the parade attracted some other pretty well known officials, too– Gov. Phil Murphy, Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th Dist.) and state Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.).

Emerald Society pipers at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Emerald Society pipers at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle

Paddy and the Pale Boys provided a warmup of traditional Irish music with a modern twist, to start things off on a rousing note.

Ruth Gerner then gave a stirring interpretation of the National Anthem, followed by a 21- gun salute by American Legion Post 390 of Denville.  Historian Bill Rogers of Drew University spoke about the 100th Anniversary of the 1919 War of Independence in Soloheadence, in Ireland’s County Tipperary.

Videos by Jeff Sovelove for MorristownGreen.com. Toggle through playlist by clicking icon at left:

Step dancers of the Wick Hegarty, An Clar, Lenahan and Heritage Irish Dance Schools really got things going, dancing together for the first time ever. Morristown High School students gave the crowd a preview of their musical The Addams Family, which premieres on March 22, 2019.

Slideshow photos by Katharine Boyle. Click/ hover on images for captions:

A hearty hello at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Grand Marshal Father Patrick 'Paddy' O'Donovan at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Emerald Society pipers at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Stepping up at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
St. Patrick at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
BEST DRESSED at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
John Murphy's famous green fire truck at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
RIDE 'EM COWGIRL! The 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
The 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Band plays at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Looking sharp at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Fire & Rescue at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Young spectator at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Grand Marshal Father Patrick 'Paddy' O'Donovan at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Crowd lines the clubhouse turn at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
St. Patrick's banner at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Enjoying the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Nice lid, at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
Taking in the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
In the driver's seat, at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
MorristownGreen.com at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
MorristownGreen.com at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
WHERE'S THE FIRE? The 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
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BEST DRESSED at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle
BEST DRESSED at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. Photo by Katharine Boyle

The Thomas Jefferson/Sussex Avenue School Band closed out the pre-parade entertainment with a concert showcasing their talents, much to the delight of parents in the audience.

Michael Carroll did the traditional chalking of the shamrocks, with kids pitching in to help.  A green, messy, chalky time was had by all.

Noah, 4, of Montville, seemed to speak for all of the small fry when he said he liked the music and floats — and especially the hot dogs and pretzels.

The parade was presented by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick  of Morris County and the Irish American Association of Northwest Jersey.

But, as luck would have it, everyone was Irish on this day.

Steele, 6, Kensington, 3, and Xander, 2, of Chatham had lots of fun chalking the shamrocks at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick's Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove
Steele, 6, Kensington, 3, and Xander, 2, of Chatham had lots of fun chalking the shamrocks at the 2019 Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade. Photo by Jeff Sovelove

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