This year, the parade has been canceled again. The city will hold an Irish cultural festival, and a group of independent residents have created a bar crawl called “Leprecon” for the first Saturday in March (March 2).
Some Hoboken residents are glad that the parade madness is gone, while others feel there should have been a compromise between City Hall and the parade committee. Hoboken Democratic Committee Chair Jamie Cryan, whose allies are politically opposed to the mayor, submitted this letter to the editor for the weekend.
What do you think? Comment below.
I am deeply disappointed that The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade is canceled for the second year in a row. For over a quarter century, the parade has honored Hobokenites, celebrated our diverse community as well as our Irish heritage. It’s a great day for businesses and an opportunity for new visitors to safely enjoy our great city. The parade is the good part of the day— residents new and old alongside young families and senior citizens watching high school bands, bagpipers, Irish groups, civic association, police officers, firemen and every day civic minded residents march down Washington Street with good intentions and good cheer.
Last year, the good part of the day was cancelled due to public safety concerns and again this year because it was being forced to move to a Wednesday night. Some in city hall felt the parade was the cause of the drinking and debauchery that came along for the ride. The city is making the parade move to Wednesday, but the pub crawl is accommodated. Two years in a row the good part of the day is taken away and two years in a row the pub crawl gets to hold court alone.
After Sandy, we should be walking down the middle of the Avenue with a great sense of pride. Since 1986, the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade has welcomed dignitaries of all kinds –from ballplayers to singers to heads of state. But this year, the real celebrity could have been our great city for surviving the devastation of Super Storm Sandy. The Super Storm did its worst, but we made it through and are on our way back.
I don’t know if it is hatred, stubbornness, bad advice or foolishness driving the decision, but it doesn't make any sense to punish the only good part of the day. The simple role of our leaders is to make things work and get things done; not end them because of political pay back or because it’s too difficult. City government is supposed to come up with solutions. Not take the easy way out.
The bright minds in city hall should have the capability to put a plan in place and execute it to make sure that families can celebrate their heritage and Hoboken can celebrate a great tradition. There are too many directors in city hall making six figure salaries to not make this day work safely. They should be replaced if they cannot properly plan for an event that happens on the same day every year and has for the past 26. The concert on Pier A from the English group, Mumford & Sons, was embraced and a great success. Those who love this parade should expect the same respect and dedication from city hall.
Chairman, Hoboken Democratic Committee
Councilman Tim Occhipinti released a similar statement on Thursday complaining about the cancelation of the parade. The release said, in part, "For a quarter-century, Hoboken held a parade along Washington Street on the first Saturday of March. For 25 years, children, seniors and families lined the street as Hoboken kicked off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around the state. The event drew U.S. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, TV stars and national media outlets, but the true luminaries were the countless Hobokenites who were honored by the parade committee. The event brought in revenue for local businesses – not just bars and restaurants, but also everything from bagel stores and bodegas to pizza parlors and novelty stores."
He said that it didn't make sense for the mayor to ask the committee to move the parade to a Wednesday because it was more difficult for the bands to participate then.