Arts & Entertainment

Somerville Hosts 27th Annual St. Patrick's Parade March 11

037d1d1335cb8353e637_sompixstpatricksdayparade3__1_.jpg
a9ecb0989ff7d79e75af_sompixstpatricksdayparadelogo__2_.jpg
38fe87119fff6780e2f1_sompixstpatricksdayparade1__1_.jpg
ab3935c636b911d5a74c_sompixstpatricksdayparade2__1_.JPG
fd61b35970b81c21f150_sompixfinnbarkirby.jpg
Finnbar Kirby, 2018 Grand Marshal
4277a2670a08ce95d924_sompixstpatricksdayparade4.jpg
d82c66595909051d5b2b_sompixstpatricksdayparadebagpipes.jpg
037d1d1335cb8353e637_sompixstpatricksdayparade3__1_.jpg

SOMERVILLE,NJ - President Trump has declared March as Irish-American Heritage Month, continuing a White House tradition started by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

That’s also the year Somerville hosted its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a central New Jersey tradition that will continue on Sunday, March 11, with a parade down Main Street that is considered one of the largest celebrations of Irish heritage in the Garden State.

The 27th anniversary parade is expected to draw upwards of 15,000-20,000 people. Held on the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day each year, the parade begins at 1:30 p.m. on East Main Street adjacent to the Somerset County Courthouse and heads west down Main Street, concluding two hours later in the vicinity of the plaza where Borough Hall is located at West End Avenue.

Sign Up for E-News

There will be floats, pipe & drum marching bands, Irish step dancers, civic organizations, fire companies, youth groups, politicians and all the trimmings, according to Pat Mannion, proprietor of Mannion’ s Irish Pub, 150 W. Main St. and member of the Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

The celebration at Mannion’s gets an early start Friday night, with live Irish music and step dancers, and continues through the weekend. It picks up again Thursday, March 15 on through St. Patrick’s Day March 17 and the weekend. Mannion said he has already ordered 1,200 pounds of corned beef and expects a follow-up order.

Stepping out on the parade route will be eight pipe and drum Irish bands and 75 marching units, including the Somerset Police Pipe & Drums; St. Ann’s of Hampton Pipe & Drums, the MacGregor Pipe Band, the Immaculata High School Color Guard and Marching Band, the Somerville High School Marching Band and the Mummers’ Aqua String Band, according to Mannion.

Leading the line of march will be Grand Marshal Finnbar Kirby, the 2018 Hibernian of the Year.

Kirby was born and raised in Cork City, Ireland. He is the second oldest of six boys. Finbarr is married to Anne (nee McCarthy). The couple just celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. They have four sons; Derek and his wife Mary, Alan and his wife Cindy, Barry and his fiancé Lisa, and Paul. They are also the grandparents of Megan, Michael, and Jenna.

Kirby received his formal education at Turners Cross from the Presentation Brothers and continued his higher education at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT). Finbarr then undertook a 5 year apprenticeship for Steam-Fitting and Engineering. This led him to work for various companies throughout Ireland, England, Wales, The Bahamas, and the United States. For a couple of years, Finbarr also experienced life on the Atlantic Ocean while working on off-shore Rigs off the coast of Ireland.

In 1989, Finbarr and Anne applied and were granted the opportunity to live in the United States. They  left Ireland to start a new life in America with their four boys. They arrived and settled in Manville.

During his first years in America, Kirby attended activities sponsored by various Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Divisions. Finbarr then joined his local Division, Saint Patrick Division 1 of Somerset County. Finbarr has been a proud and active member for over 25 years. During his membership, he served on the executive board for 8 years which included a two year term as division president. He also was the chairman of the dinner dance committee and has represented his division at countless New Jersey state conventions, and national conventions.

He and his family are supporters and active members of the AOH & Ladies Ancient of Hibernians (LAOH). Kirby is still active assisting in the annual Family Picnic, Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, and will also be representing his division at the AOH National Convention in Louisville later this year. His sons are “Keeping the Tradition Alive” as members and supporters of their local AOH Division, Saint Patrick Division 1, Somerset County, NJ.

Following is a portion of  Trump’s Irish-American Heritage Month proclamation:

“Irish Americans have distinguished themselves in every sector of American life,” Trump said. “Many have been among the key architects of our country’s greatness. Nine of the men who signed our Declaration of Independence were of Irish origin. Presidents Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and many others have traced their roots to the Emerald Isle. Businessman Henry Ford, founder of one of America’s most iconic companies, was the son of an Irish immigrant."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Food Truck Festival and Car Show at Saint Joseph High School on April 28

April 25, 2018

METUCHEN, NJ -- Saint Joseph High School's Father's Club will host a Car Show and Food Truck Festival (featuring live DJ and Beer Garden) on Saturday, April 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00.

 

Food Trucks will include:

Boardwalk Freddy
Bro-Rito
Cousins Maine Lobster
Empanada Monster
Falafull Gourmet
Jerkin' Chicken
Oink and ...

Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 24, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

New Brunswick: Water Department workers guilty in scheme costing city $500,000

NEW BRUNSWICK – Two city Water Department employees have pleaded guilty to charges of falsely reducing water to about 50 different properties in exchange for bribes, costing the city about $500,000, state officials announced.

Joseph “Gordo” DeBonis, 55 of Toms River, a suspended senior account clerk, and William “Billi” Ortiz, 56, of North Brunswick, a meter ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerville: “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” April 21

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” on April 21st is meant to draw attention to the borough’s  burgeoning network of antiques, collectibles and consignment shops.

Nine stores will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., each offering discounts and prizes for those looking for truly unique, one-of-a-kind items at affordable ...

Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 24, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

New Brunswick: Water Department workers guilty in scheme costing city $500,000

NEW BRUNSWICK – Two city Water Department employees have pleaded guilty to charges of falsely reducing water to about 50 different properties in exchange for bribes, costing the city about $500,000, state officials announced.

Joseph “Gordo” DeBonis, 55 of Toms River, a suspended senior account clerk, and William “Billi” Ortiz, 56, of North Brunswick, a meter ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson and township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

New DMV Facility in South Plainfield Should Ease Crunch in Somerville

April 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - B. Sue Fulton is just beginning to find her away around her new office in Trenton , but the newly-sworn director of the Department of Motor Vehicles found her way to Somerville Saturday at the invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman for a visit to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place which has been causing headaches for neighborhood residents.

She arrived 45 ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...

Somerset Resident Wins Gold at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – On April 14, Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School students competed against other career and technical education students from around the state at the 2018 New Jersey SkillsUSA Championships. 

Out of the 94 students from SCVTHS who competed, 63 received medals including 27 gold.  The gold medal winners are now eligible to test their skills in ...

New DMV Facility in South Plainfield Should Ease Crunch in Somerville

April 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - B. Sue Fulton is just beginning to find her away around her new office in Trenton , but the newly-sworn director of the Department of Motor Vehicles found her way to Somerville Saturday at the invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman for a visit to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place which has been causing headaches for neighborhood residents.

She arrived 45 ...

Somerset County Town to Close Library

WATCHUNG, NJ  - The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night, before packed chambers and over 500 watching on Facebook live,  to close the Watchung Library and explore redevelopment of the library site on Stirling Road.

After years of discussion and debate, the council decided not to renovate the existing library or construct a new library. Mayor Stephen Pote ...