NUTLEY, NJ – Representatives from The Township of Bloomfield participated in the 42nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 7, in neighboring Nutley.
Notable marchers with strong ties to Bloomfield included President of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders Brendan Gill, District 5 Freeholder and former Councilman Carlos Pomares, and 28th District Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.
“It was a pleasure to honor those full of community spirit this past Wednesday (March 4) as the Freeholder Board recognized the Grand Marshal and parade organizers of the Nutley St. Patrick's Day Parade,” Freeholder Pomares told TAP. “However, today, there is no substitute for marching on such a historic parade route alongside so many wonderful members of Nutley and surrounding communities.”
Bloomfield Police and Fire Departments joined fellow squads and first-responders from Nutley and Belleville in the mile-long trek, honking horns from their emergency vehicles and bid rigs.
Other dignitaries included Nutley Mayor Joseph Scarpelli, Nutley Commissioner’s Alphonse Petracco, Mauro Tucci, Steven Rogers and Thomas Evans, and Belleville Mayor Michael Melham who were front and center waving to onlookers lining the sidewalks.
Mother nature had the luck of the Irish on her side as beautiful blue skies provided the perfect backdrop for the highly anticipated event.
With temperatures at 43 degrees in the early afternoon at parade kickoff, the sunny skies provided the warmth needed to bring out one of the largest crowds to witness the yearly march down Franklin Avenue and Harrison Street.
“This parade is one of the highlights of my year as Freeholder – it's an honor to serve this district,” Pomares added.
Brenda Sherman of Nutley Irish American Association, flanked by Nutley Irish President Thomas McEnery, served as emcee introducing marchers from a reviewing stand stationed in front of John H. Walker Middle School.
“This is our 42nd parade and we have a lot of bands here today from all over, and we are also here to honor our dignitaries,” said Sherman. “Our Grand Marshal is Karen Smith, our Deputy Grand Marshal is Brian Blum, our Police Officer of the Year is Robert McDermott, Member of the Year is Dan Kane, and Parade Queen is Erin Baker.”
Franklin Avenue and Harrison Street were ceremoniously renamed ‘Smith Court’ and ‘Blum Street’ for the day to honor the Grand Marshal and Deputy Grand Marshal.
VFW Post 493 set the pace leading the pack at the front to the parade, a tradition dating back to the events’ inception.
The award-winning Nutley High School Marching Band provided a rousing performance.
Elementary school cub scouts and girl scouts, little leagues, Clara Maass Medical Center, Relay For Life and a host of civic organizations were well represented with an abundance of marchers walking the green line down the avenue.
An Investiture Mass at St. Mary's Church to celebrate of St. Patrick preceded the parade.
Nutley Irish is one of the area’s premier civic associations and have organized the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Nutley since 1979.