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Grand Marshal renames parade route "St. Patrick's Way" , 1991
1991 Grand Marshal Agnes Gillespie renames Broadway, the Parade route, "St. Patrick's Way" one week before the parade, March 9, 1991. Photo: Tom Walsh

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Bayonne

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.

Originally submitted by: Donald M. Payne, Representative (10th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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