Nutley’s 42nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
On Saturday, March 7, Nutley’s 42nd Annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade took over Franklin Avenue. The crowded sidewalk was filled with people of all cultural backgrounds, not just the Irish. The sound of bagpipes, laughing children, and horns filled the air on the beautiful, sunny afternoon.
The Maroon & Gray spoke to the Nutley Irish American Alliance Parade Chairperson, Deidre Hollywood, about the parade planning process. She has been a member for about 12 years, and has been organizing the parade for 10 years.
There are many steps taken during the months prior to be able to have the parade. Starting in August, the dignitaries are selected. In October, a big fundraiser is held to raise funds to pay for the parade. The Nutley Irish American Alliance starts sending letters out in December for their Ad Journal and parade invite letters.
“We have to fill out applications for the Township, as well as for permission to use the front steps of John Walker Middle School for our grandstand,” stated Hollywood. Then the bands are hired, and then all of the applications are received from the other participants. “In the days preceding the parade, the lineup is finalized and the script is written for the grandstand.” said Hollywood. The day of the parade starts with Mass at St. Mary's Church at 10am, and the parade starts at Holy Family Church at 1pm.
Many clubs and organizations took part in walking in the parade. Some of those included TAP Into Nutley, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Little Leagues, Nutley Civic Associates, Nutley Relay for Life Nutley Unico, Nutley Third Half Club, Ironbound Irish Association, the Women of irish Heritage, the Rutherford Irish and several Irish clubs from all over.
A total of 11 bands took it to the streets and performed. These included:
- Nutley High School Marching Band
- Essex County Emerald Society Pipes & Drums - Essex County
- Essex County Shillelagh Club Pipes & Drums - West Orange
- St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band - Kearney
- Police Pipes & Drums of Bergen County- Bergen County
- Pipes and Drums of the Blue and Gold - NJ State Police Band
- South Park District Pipes & Drums - South Orange
- Rory O'Moore School of Pipes & Drums - Ledgewood NJ
- Passaic County Police & Fire Pipes & Drums - Passaic County
- Union County Emerald Society - Union County
- Jersey City Fire Department Pipes & Drums - Jersey City
After the parade, people continued their celebrations elsewhere. The leftover confetti and candy wrappers were swept away by the street cleaners. The barricades on Franklin Avenue opened up again, and the street was just as it was before the excitement that morning.