Arts & Entertainment

66th Annual West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade Packs Main Street

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Amid bagpipes, fife and drums, marching bands, Irish dancing and more, the 66th annual West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade wound its way through Main Street on Sunday.

Grand Marshal Kevin Kinney and Deputy Grand Marshals Gwen Glazier, Marian Reilly Cardace and Robert Hoehn walked the route as the music of multiple organizations filled the downtown air. Joining them were members of the township council, local boy and girl scouts, the West Orange High School marching band and cheerleaders, organizations like the Irish American Society of the Oranges, Irish dancing academies, fire departments from all over Essex County and more.

“I think the parade was a great event that even the cold and blowing winds could not keep the residents from staying away,” said West Orange township councilman Jerry Guarino. “It's always a fun time to march down Main Street and see and greet friends and visitors alike.”

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The 2017 honorees appeared again later that night at the Shillelagh Club, the final stop on a bar tour following the parade. They were joined again by the Shillelagh bagpipe band, which remembered one of its founding members, John Joseph “Jack” Gaynor, who died in February.

“This year’s honorees are a true reflection of the men and women who contribute their time and efforts for the betterment and growth of our community,” said Guarino. “They are what makes West Orange the great and welcoming community it is.”

In addition, the parade committee also honored the late Mary Elizabeth Roth, the mother of West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi’s wife, Sheila, and a lifelong West Orange resident.

Roth was a member of the Frank O'Hara Association of West Orange, vice president of the West Orange Democratic Committee, a daily communicant at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, and the 1995 Deputy Grand Marshal of the West Orange Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Roth, who was the wife of the late Edward Roth and the mother of five daughters, died in January surrounded by family.

Kinney, a West Caldwell resident, has Irish roots that go back at least four generations on both sides of the family. Kinney’s love of all things Irish comes mainly from his father, “Charlie,” who marched regularly in the parade.

Kinney has marched in the West Orange Parade with various groups, including the Montclair Rugby Club and the Eddie Mal Association. He also led the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh as president in 2013.

Glazier is an active member of the Women of Irish Heritage; the Cryan, Giblin and McGovern Associations; the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade; and 100th Anniversary Rising to include the Irish Mass & Celebration at St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral in Newark and the 2016 Military Park Event. Glazier’s Great-Great Uncle, William Glazier, is a former West Orange Township Councilman.

Cardace was raised in West Orange and currently resides in Roseland. She is a member of the Irish American Society of the Oranges and has assisted in coordinating the fundraising events for the organization. She said she vividly remembers attending the parade as a child and is considering honoring her Irish heritage by applying for Irish citizenship.

Hoehn, a West Orange resident, has served on the West Orange Zoning Board and the West Orange Historical Commission and is a former coach for West Orange recreation department traveling baseball teams, as well as a coach (baseball/basketball) and trustee (basketball) for the Mountain Top League. He also served as a lector/commentator and CCD instructor at Our Lady of the Valley. His Irish heritage is traceable back to 1785.

To read more about this year’s honorees, click HERE.

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