The city of Hoboken hosted its second annual Irish Cultural Festival on Wednesday at Sinatra Park. The first Irish Cultural Festival was held last year after the traditional St. Patrick’s Parade was canceled.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer wanted to move the night of the parade last year to a Wednesday rather than a Saturday to cut down on the partying that came with it. But the independent committee that runs the parade cancelled it instead. So to continue Hoboken’s efforts to celebrate the city’s Irish heritage, the cultural festival was born.
A portion of the proceeds are set to benefit the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund and American Legion Post 107, both intended to help recoup losses from Hurricane Sandy.
This year, attendance at the seven-hour event was sparse, likely due to the cold weather at the waterfront location. Still, clusters of green-clad adults and tots gathered to see the live performers and taste the food.
Among the attendees at the Irish Festival was the Easter Bunny himself.
Aside from the Irish menu, the festival also featured face-painters, the Hoboken Hurling Club, and dance performances by the Garden Street Irish Step Dancers, Emerald Fire Dance Ensemble, and the Peter Smith School of Irish Dancing. Children gathered into a crowd while they put on their best Irish jig.
Bands included headliner The Prodigals (whose members mostly grew up in Ireland), Gold n’ Brown (a Hoboken Celtic jam band), The Will O’Connor Band (Hoboken’s own), and bagpipe player Colin Nisbet.
Students from the Hoboken Charter School and the charter high school’s student council provided a craft booth.
Among the attendees of the Irish Festival was the Easter Bunny himself.
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.