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Irish eyes will be smiling in Brooklyn, later this month, as those who can trace their roots back to the Emerald Isle, as well as those who wish they could, take to the streets to mark St. Patrick’s Day.
On Sunday, March 15th, beginning at 1 p.m., the 34th annual Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off from Prospect Park West, at 15th Street.
The event -- which wends its way along 15th Street to Seventh Avenue, then along Seventh Avenue to Union Street, then along Union Street to Prospect Park West, before returning to 15th Street -- combines a tribute to Irish Americans with homage to those who fought in the Battle of Brooklyn, as well as a remembrance of those who perished on September 11th, said Kathleen McDonagh, of the Parade Committee.
This year, McDonagh said, the parade will be dedicated to Annie Moore, Ellis Island’s first immigrant, who arrived in New York from County Cork, Ireland, on New Year’s Day, 1892, at the age of 15. Moore, in making the journey, came to join her parents, who had emigrated two years earlier, said, McDonagh, “to make a better life for their family.”
The grand marshal of the parade is John Riordan, president of the New York Gaelic Athletic Association. The honorees are Brian Andersson, commissioner of records and information for New York City, who tracked down information about Moore and who will receive the Annie Moore Award, and Richard Moylan, the president of Green-Wood Cemetery, who will receive the Irish Korean War Veterans Award. In addition, there will be a remembrance and tribute to Danny Mills, of Farrell’s Bar, who was “a great supporter of the parade,” said McDonagh.
As has been done since 9/11, McDonagh added, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony on a fire truck “to rededicate the parade to the memory of the uniformed services and all who died on 9/11.” If it is not on call, the truck will come from Squad 1, on Union Street, which lost 13 members in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.
The reviewing stand will be located in Bartel Pritchard Square.
A week later, the scene shifts from Park Slope to Bay Ridge, where the 16th annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade will kick off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 22nd, from the intersection of Marine and Fourth Avenues, in front of St. Patrick’s Church. From there, marchers will head along Fourth Avenue to 94th Street, then onto Fifth Avenue, going all the way to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. The reviewing stand will be at Fifth Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway.
The grand marshal of the parade is Martin Brennan, and the deputy marshals are Kevin Mahony, Tom Kane, Arlene Keating, Randy Litz, Billy Boshell, Marguerite Mason and Frank Lawlor.
The event is planned to have an “enhanced international flavor,” said Larry Morrish, one of the organizers. Among those who will be participating, Morrish told this paper, are children from the Arab, Asian, Russian, Caribbean, Pakistani and Turkish communities. “We like to share and celebrate the heritage,” Morrish stressed.
Between 5,000 and 6,000 marchers are expected to take part, Morrish added, with about 100,000 spectators lining the route.
For further information on the parades, log onto www.saintpatricksdayparade.com.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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