SOMERVILLE, NJ - Legendary Irish entertainer Willie Lynch has been named Grand Marshal of the annual Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
A longtime member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Lynch travels throughout New Jersey and performs solo or with other musicians at a variety of venues, including Mannion’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 150 West. Main St.
Lynch will be honored Saturday, Jan. 23 at a fundraising dinner at the Somerville Elks, 375 Union Ave., Bridgewater, from 7-11 p.m. Proceeds will be used to defray costs of the parade in downtown Somerville.
Lynch will entertain at the dinner, along with bagpipers and the Ian Gallagher Band.
Tickets paid for in advance are $55; children under 18 are $25. Tickets at the door will cost $65.
A buffet will be served. Beverages include beer, wine and soda.
Hosting a rousing St. Patrick’s Day Parade, complete with floats, pipe & drum marching bands, Irish step dancers, politicians and all the trimmings is an expensive proposition.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that it costs a lot of money,” said Pat Mannion, proprietor of Mannion’s Pub & Restaurant.
The borough’s popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016, and as in previous years, the March 13 event on the Sunday prior to St. Patrick’s Day should cost $20,000. It is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in New Jersey, attracting crowds upwards of 10,000 people and more than a dozen marching units, according to Mannion.
Lacking the proverbial Pot o’ Gold, parade organizers still must pay for the marching bands, police overtime and other expenses, Mannion explained.
Tickets to the Jan. 23 dinner honoring Lynch can be purchased at Mannion’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, 150 W. Main St., Verve Restaurant, 18 E. Main St. and McLachlan Realty, 75 E.Main St.
Checks can be mailed to William Rose, PO Box 524, Martinsville, NJ 08836. Checks should be made out to SSPDP Dinner Committee.
McLachlan can also accept credit card charges. Call (908) 240-2546.
Further information is available on the Internet at www.somervillesaintpatricksdayparade.com or on Facebook.com/SomervilleParade.