In 1981, members of the
community of Bayonne joined together to form a committee for the purpose
of establishing a Parade Committee
to organize, support, and present annually in the month of March, a parade
honoring the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick.
In March of 1982, after an absence of over 70 years, Bayonne community
members once again formed its first Saint Patrick's Parade.
The four Irish organizations in the City of Bayonne are referred to herein
as the sponsoring organizations. They are:
The Irish American League
The County Corkmen's Association
The County Donegal Association
The governing body of the
organization is the steering committee,
from which there are elected officers to direct the activities of the
Those officers are:
Dwyer -Chairperson John
Gillespie Vice Chairperson Agnes
Gillespie - Treasurer Margaret
Calverley- Corresponding Secretary Theresa
Hennessey - Recording Secretary
From its inception the Bayonne Saint Patrick's Parade is held on the
Sunday which follows Saint Patrick's Day, except when it falls on Saint
Patrick's Day itself. The 2011 parade will be held on Sunday, March 20th.
To contact the Bayonne Saint Patrick's Parade Committee please write to:
PO Box 4043 - Bayonne, NJ 07002
Bayonne celebrates "Saint Patrick's Month" with a number of March
activities building up to and following their beloved parade held the
first Sunday after March 17. Among these are a ceremonial raising of the
Irish flag over the Municipal Building, the official re-naming of the
parade route to Saint Patrick's Way, and the display of Irish crystal,
china, and other imports in the building's lobby.
The Grand Marshal, selected by committee vote in January, is invested with
an official sash and walking stick at a brunch attended by about 250
people on the last Sunday in February. On the morning of the parade, a
special Mass, beginning with a procession of the Grand Marshal and his
aides, is hosted by one of four sponsoring Catholic churches. The parade
itself includes ten bagpipe bands and several marching bands, along with
contingents from the police force and fire department. Local schools,
sports groups, and scouts participate as well.
At the conclusion of the parade, a two-hour party that is attended by more
than 1,000 people is held at a local high school. This event is a family
tradition for many Bayonne residents and a homecoming for former
residents. Corned beef sandwiches are served, Irish dancing is performed
by local students, and the bagpipers who marched in the parade all mass
together in the gym for a grand finale of Irish tunes. The parade is
broadcast on television ten times during the following weeks. It has been
held each year since 1982 following a 71-year hiatus.