BERGENFIELD, N.J. -- The Council of Irish Associations of Greater Bergen County has announced plans for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bergenfield on March 12.
Peter Quinn, the parade’s longtime chairman and an organization trustee, said the 36th annual parade’s grand marshal will be Kevin Downes of Hawthorne-based Downes Tree Service. Downes will be installed by the Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco at a Grand Marshal's Dinner Dance on Feb. 25 at The Graycliff in Moonachie.
The parade will feature about 15 marching bands, another 50 or so marching units ranging from a color guard to nurses, to Irish dance groups and fire trucks.
For the first time in the parade’s history, Korean War veteran will walk in the parade, Quinn said.
There will also be a trailer promoting breast cancer awareness and eight pipe bands.
The March 12 festivities will begin with a flag-raising at 1 p.m. at Roy W. Brown Middle School in Bergenfield on Washington Avenue. The parade will start at 2 p.m. on the south side of Washington Avenue and head up to St. John Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, ending on Church Street.
Quinn said the parade is “that one time out of the whole year that family and friends” of Irish descent can celebrate their heritage and traditions together.
“It doesn’t matter how Irish you are, you still have Irish in you.”