NEWTON, NJ – “It’s a beautiful day in Sussex County, for those who have Irish roots, and even for those who don’t.” So said Reverend Monsignor Kieran McHugh, President of Pope John XXIII High School, as he continued, “It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the feast of our beloved St. Patrick.”
With nearly 1,000 marching on Saturday, March 16, the chilling temperatures and flurries of snow did not curb the enthusiasm of the day. The crowd bundled up with blankets and warm coats, but nothing covered up the wearing’ of the green.
“Newton and the Town Council are very proud to host the St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year. It’s good to see everyone out on the street,” said Newton Mayor Sandra Diglio.
Just before the parade began, William Joseph, Newton’s Town Crier, tossed gold coins to the crowd. “Share with your brother, now,” he told one youngster.
Leading the parade was Newton Police Chief Michael Richards in the patrol car.
This year, the parade had Co-Grand Marshals: John and Sue Sullivan and Dawn Delaney. The Sullivan's brought the parade to Sussex County in the 80’s, when they were the owners of Sullivans Gaslight Inn, in Franklin. Dawn Delaney was instrumental in bringing the parade to Newton, six years ago, when she was president of the Newton Chamber of Commerce.
Fire and Rescue Squads from Newton, Newton Fire Ladies Auxiliary, Hampton Township Department, Andover Borough, Andover Township, Lafayette, Byram Township, Fredon, Hamburg, Stillwater, Vernon, and Jefferson Township blazed by in full force.
Dignitaries marching in the parade included: newly appointed Assemblyman Parker Space, New Jersey Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison McHose, Freeholders Phillip Crabb, Gail Phoebus Dennis Mudrick, Sheriff Mike Strada, Sussex County Surrogate Gary Chiusano, Sussex County Administrator John Eskilson, Sussex County Clerk Jeff Parrott, Newton Mayor Sandra Diglio, Newton Town Council members Kevin Elvidge, Kristen Becker, Daniel Flynn, Franklin Mayor Paul Crowley, Carol Crowley, and Glen Ventrano.
Other groups who participated were: Newton Police, Newton VFW Memorial Post 5360 Color Guard, Morris County Police Pipes & Drums, American Red Cross of Sussex County, Vietnam Veteran’s 1002 Color Guard, Passaic County Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, Endean Academy of Irish Step Dancers, Ogdensburg Robert A. Madden VFW Post 10152, Rory O’Moore Pipes & Drums, Catholic Academy of Sussex County including Immaculate Conception Regional School, St. Joseph’s Regional School, Pope John XXIII High School, Dominick A. Calabrese Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Don Bosco Council #7784 Knights of Columbus, Don Bosco Columbiettes #7784, Saint Kateri Knights of Columbus and Columbian Squires, Jeffrey S. Patterson Marine Corp Color Guard from Sussex County, Sussex County TEA Party Patriots, the Greater Newton Chamber of Commerce, Rose of Tralee of New York & New Jersey, An Clar School of Irish Dance, Ginnie’s House, Fitzpatrick House, Stadium Bar & Grill, Tri-County Pipes and Drums, Fifth NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Civil War Re-enactment, Rangers of Wild West City, Barnyard Bruisers 4H Junior Roller Derby, The Spirit of Liberty, Cub Scout Troop #184 from Green, Girl Scout Brownie Troop #884, Girl Scout Troop 638 & 827 from Hampton, Boy Scout Troop #48 from Hamburg, Boy Scout Troop #85 from Andover/Newton, Girl Scout Troop 1072 and Girl Scout Junior Troop #94656, Boy Scout Troop #96 from Hampton, North Jersey Antique Engine and Machinery Club, the Sussex County Shelton Shooters, Spring Valley Equestrians of Newton, and the New Jersey Quarter Horse Association.
Oroho said, “It’s a great day for Sussex County. It’s great to see everyone coming out like this. I’d like to thank Mary and Dennis Harrington for putting all of this together. They did a great job.”
Co-Grand Marshal Dawn Delaney echoed his sentiments. "I want to thank the Harrington’s. I am so honored to be a part of this great celebration.”
Dennis Harrington said, “A special thank you from the Parade Committee to Newton Police Chief Richards, Lieutenant Bob Osborn, Officer Michael Monco and the Newton Police Department for their assistance with the parade arrangements. Thanks also to Ken Jaekel, Supervisor of the DPW, Chief Fox of the Newton Fire Department, Deborah Phillips, Captain of the Ambulance Squad and all of their support staff for their assistance with the parade."
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