HOBOKEN— The second annual “Leprecon”/Irish Festival will be held Saturday, March 2 in Hoboken. The celebration is in place of a 25 year-long tradition of a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Councilman Tim Occhipinti has issued a release calling on Mayor Dawn Zimmer to bring back the parade. Occhipinti is aligned with the anti-Zimmer half of the City Council.
Last year was the first year that the event was cancelled after Mayor Dawn Zimmer requested the independent committee that puts on the parade to move it from the traditional Saturday to a Wednesday due to concerns over public safety.
“The St. Patrick’s parade is a piece of Hoboken’s history that celebrates the contributions of Irish Americans to our great city and a day that would be enjoyed by families and visitors alike,” Occhipinti said in the release. “This year, a parade would have been a golden opportunity to show the strength and resilience of our community, and that Hoboken is back post-Sandy. It would have been a big help to local business, and a boost to our city’s morale.”
The release also said that this year in Monmouth County, this year’s Belmar St Patrick’s Day Parade is a celebration of the Shore, to bring additional revenue to local business.
Zimmer said this year that they did not have the resources in terms of security to hold the parade.
However, in Occhipinti’s criticism, he pointed to the success of a 15,000 attendee Mumford & Sons concert last year on the waterfront that “shows that when motivated, this city can succeed at controlling events in a non-residential area with proper planning.” – Amanda Palasciano