WOODBRIDGE, NJ - There were leprechauns on the sidewalks, candy in the air, and music in the streets as the Woodbridge St. Patrick's Day parade wound its way through town this Sunday.
Sponsored by the American Irish Association of Woodbridge, the 2018 parade featured bagpipe bands, football teams, politicians, and a lot of firefighters.
New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, who has recently been supported for re-election by the Middlesex County Democrats, was on hand to shake hands and wave to the crowds that lined the streets of town. Also marching were Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6) and Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly Craig Coughlin, who is also a Woodbridge Assemblyman (D-19).
Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac was by far the most popular politician in the parade, garnering cheers and handshakes along the route with township residents eager to be "part of the McCormac team."
Pirates waved swords and shouted salty chants as they passed by St. Jame's Catholic Church, perched at the height of Main Street in Woodbridge. Ye Loyal Krewe of Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley navigated their rugged craft through the line of march, flying both the Irish flag and the Skull and Crossbones. O'Malley is a real figure of Irish history whose family dominated the west coast of Ireland for decades in the 1600's. Her famous refusal to bow to Queen Elizabeth I, as O'Malley was herself a queen, has painted her as a legendary rebellious Irishwoman.
The hour-long parade began at Woodbridge High School and ended at the foot of main street, leaving behind a trail of enthusiastic Woodbridge residents.