Tuesday, February 22, 2011

North Wildwood plans St. Patrick's Day Parade


It’s a celebration of all things Irish. It’s the first of many exciting parades in this town. It’s North Wildwood’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and it takes place on Sat., March 12.

The celebration starts at 11:30 a.m. on the steps of City Hall, 901 Atlantic Ave., where Mayor Bill Henfey will welcome everyone. Guests will include representatives from City Council, various city departments, Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, and Miss North Wildwood Hannah DiBruno, among others.

There will be three Co-Grand Marshals this year: Mike Maguire, president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH); Chuck Meissler, president of the Cape May County Police and Fire Emerald Society; and Joe Rullo, president of the Anglesea Irish Society. All three will address the crowd.

There will be a ceremonial raising of the Irish Flag by North Wildwood Police and North Wildwood Firefighters. Both the Irish and American National Anthems will be sung. The program will conclude with a Benediction.

The parade will step off at noon, proceeding north on Atlantic Avenue to First Avenue, and then travel west on to Old New Jersey Avenue to Spruce Avenue.

Four bands will entertain this year: Cape Atlantic Police and Fire Irish Pipe Brigade, Duffy String Band, the Margaret Mace School Band, and Wildwood High School Band.

The North Wildwood Police will lead the parade. It will also feature VFW Post 5941, other military detachments, community organizations, and scout troops.

All of our local Irish organizations will march: the Cape May County Emerald Society Color Guard and members, the AOH and LAOH, and the Anglesea Irish Society.

And, what’s a parade without fire trucks? North Wildwood’s Fire Department will provide those, while our Beach Patrol will provide a Lifeguard Boat.

The replica of the Jeanie Johnston, the famous tall ship that never lost a passenger on its trips from Ireland to America to escape An Gorta Mor, will also be part of the parade.

As always, it will be a grand parade celebrating the heritage of so many North Wildwood residents.

Mayor Henfey said, “Here in North Wildwood, we’re famous for our parades. This is one of our favorites, since it ushers in a whole new season of great special events.”

Some readers may remember that last year’s parade was rained out — at least out of the street. But the fun went on as planned indoors at the Community Center at the Rec, 900 Central Ave. Should it rain this year, we’ll bring the celebration into the Rec again—same day and time.

Check for updates when you visit www.northwildwood.com.

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