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2010 Union County Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Saturday, March 15th, 2010    1 p.m. Step-off

Joseph Dugett Is Named Grand Marshal of 2010 Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The 2010 Union County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee proudly announces Joseph Dugett of Berkeley Heights has been named Grand Marshal of the 13th Annual Union County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

Dugett, a U.S. Army veteran and a former Secret Service police officer, is known throughout Union County for his active role in the area’s Irish-American culture and his business career with Industrial Rubber in Elizabeth. He is also as the former owner of Byrnes Tavern in Elizabeth.

“We are thrilled to have Joe as our Grand Marshal,” said Debbie Capasso, 2010 Parade General Chairwoman. “He has been such a big part of this parade for so long. Joe truly deserves this honor.”

Dugett, a New York City native who has lived in Union County more than 50 years, traces his Irish roots on both sides of his family to County Cork and County Louth. While researching his family history, he discovered some of his clan sailed from Ireland to America on a ship named Mont Eagle in 1852.

“I am honored and humbled,” said Dugett after learning he was named Grand Marshal. “I love the parade. It is a little like a fantasy, like hitting the Pick-6, and wondering how real it is.”

The Union County Emerald Society nominated Dugett for Grand Marshal and he was elected unanimously by representatives of the 17 parade committee member organizations and parade officers.

Dugett is a founding member of the Thornsticks, a group that has coordinated an annual Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Elizabeth in honor of the patron saint of Ireland for the last 22 years.  The Mass was originally celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day itself but was move to the date of the Union County parade to begin the day of local Irish pride.

The new Grand Marshal is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #253 in Elizabeth, the Union County Emerald Society, the Ancient Order of Hibernians Daniel O’Connell Division, The Joseph Nugent Sr. Association, the Elizabeth Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police and t he American Legion Post 6. Dugett also serves as an assistant scoutmaster in Troop 23 of the Boy Scout of America at St. Genevieve’s Church in Elizabeth. For several years, Dugett hosted “The Irish Pavilion” at the Septemberfest in Elizabeth.

Parade day will be a family day for Dugett as well as a celebration of his Irish heritage. He is looking forward to sharing the day with wife Corinne, his son Joseph and his daughters Kelly and Kathleen as well his four grandchildren as they march down Morris Avenue.

Dugett will be installed as Grand Marshal during the 2010 Investiture Mass at St. Genevieve Church at 200 Monmouth Road Elizabeth, NJ 07208 on February 15 at The Grand Marshal’s reception will take place after Mass in the church hall. During Mass Michael J. Panella will be installed as Parade Adjutant.

The 13th Annual Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off at 1:00 p.m. sharp on Saturday, March 14, 2010 on Morris Avenue in Union, NJ.