WEST ORANGE, NJ — A township tradition dating back to 1954, the annual West Orange St. Patrick's Day Parade will step off at 12:15 p.m. this Sunday, March 10, from the corners of Mt. Pleasant Avenue and Main Street.

The parade route will go north on Main Street and finish up at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, which is also where the pre-parade Mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. The parade routinely attracts thousands of marchers, including Irish-American groups in the area, fraternal, community and school groups.

"The parade is the longest running event in town and is a tradition, both for the town and for the Irish community, that we all as organizers take seriously," said Sheila Parisi, chairwoman for the parade committee and the wife of West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi. "In addition to celebrating the Irish culture, it is a fun day for the marchers and all those that enjoy the parade from the sidelines. We are proud to be part of it."

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Longtime West Orange resident Carol Sharkey Corcoran will serve as the grand marshal of this year's parade, and Joseph Fagan and Carolyn Diver Torchia will be the deputy grand marshals. A series of features on each of the honorees will be published on TAPinto West Orange in the days leading up to the event.

Shuttle buses will be available from 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. to transport marchers and spectators to the starting location of the parade at Town Hall.

Main Street will be closed to traffic at Northfield Avenue (south end) and Harrison Avenue (north end) from approximately 11:15 a.m. until 3 p.m. Eagle Rock Avenue will be closed to traffic at approximately 11 a.m. eastbound at Crest Drive (Eagle Rock Reservation) and to all traffic at Mountain Avenue.

Mt. Pleasant Avenue will be closed to traffic at Gregory Avenue, eastbound  and to all vehicular traffic at Laird Drive. Emergency "No Parking" signs will be placed along the parade routes and side streets along the parade route. Vehicles in violation of parking  restrictions will be ticketed and  towed at the owners expense.

According to Parisi, "the weather would have to be really bad" in order for the event to be canceled. Although the township is monitoring the weather, there is currently no intention of postponing the event.