NUTLEY, NJ - It may be Autumn in Nutley, with residents preparing for the season with straw wreathes and seasonal vegetables around on their homes, but for the Nutley Irish American Association they were thinking green and already had their minds set on March and St. Patrick’s Day.
Nutley Irish held their second annual Shamrock Fest on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Parks and Recreation Building at 44 Park Ave. The annual event saw 225 people and is the first of many fundraisers for the parade. According to Nutley Irish President Thomas McEnery, the parade costs over $20,000.
South Park & District Pipes & Drums marched the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day parade dignitaries into the gymnasium performing “Amazing Grace,” “Marines' Hymn,” and “God Bless America,” among other staples. The dinner was catered by The Brownstone in Paterson.
This year’s Grand Marshal is the Honorable Karen Smith, Deputy Grand Marshal is Brian Blum, Member of the Year is Dan Kane, Parade Queen is Erin Baker and Police Officer of the Year is Detective Robert McDermott of the Nutley Police Department. The Rev. Richard Berbary of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, gave the invocation.
The parade dignitaries made their first public appearance outside of the organizations monthly meeting and each gave a speech thanking the organization.
Smith said she was asked in the past but had to turn it down since she was still a seated judge in the Belleville municipal court. After serving 28 years on the bench, she recently retired and now is able to accept the honor. Smith said, “After tonight and until the parade I will be wearing green, but tonight I have to support the Yankees. […] From now until St. Patrick’s Day, I will have one big party after another.”
McDermott said, “Because of this, my daughter thinks I’m royalty. […] To be in the same honor as Ryan Mulligan is surprising.” Mulligan received the title in 2016.
Kane said the NIAA was the reason they are able to celebrate. “This organization brings out the best in Nutley. […] I can’t wait to see that green line and walk down Franklin Avenue and see those Irish smiles,” he said.
There are over 300 members in the NIAA. Last year, the organization gave out $7,000 in scholarships to Nutley High School students. McEnery said any money raised after the parade is paid for, goes back to the Nutley community.
The 2019-2020 NIAA officers are McEnery, president; Karen O'Connor, vice president; Brenda Sherman, treasurer; Deidre Hollywood, corresponding secretary; Judy McIntyre, recording secretary; and Frank Costenbader, legal counsel.
The Grand Marshal Dinner will be held on Feb. 8 at The Brownstone with ticket information to come.
Nutley’s 42nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on March 7 along Franklin Avenue. An Investiture Mass kicks off the parade at 10 a.m. at St Mary's Church, 17 Monsignor Owens Place. The parade lineup will begin at noon at the Holy Family Parking Lot and the parade will begin promptly at 1 p.m.
Any group or organization that would like to march in the parade can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a parade participation form on the organization’s website nutleyirish.com, which is due by Feb. 15.
The Nutley Irish American Association holds monthly meetings every third Thursday of the month at 8 p.m. at the Veterans of Foreign War Post 493, 271 Washington Ave.
TAPinto Nutley is proud to be a supporter of the Nutley Irish American Association St. Patrick's Day Parade and look forward to marching in 2020.
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