Sesquicentennial celebration
Parade brings over 50 groups and organizations
by Melissa Rappaport
Reporter staff writer
Sep 13, 2009 | 1764 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I WAS BORN IN WEEHAWKEN! – The group pictured here received a ribbon at last week’s Town Hall meeting. They were either born in the old North Hudson Hospital or in their home in Weehawken.
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Stilt walkers, DJs, schools, and churches are just a few of the groups scheduled to take part in Weehawken’s 150th anniversary parade today (Sunday, Sep. 13). In total, the parade will bring 50 groups and organizations to march in the parade procession. This parade will be the largest in the town’s history, according to Mayor Richard Turner.

“We’re enthusiastic and we thank all the organizers and all the different groups that have been involved in organizing the parade,” said Turner. “We wish that everybody will come out. It’s going to be a beautiful parade and a great way to celebrate Weehawken.”
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Over 50 groups and organizations will be represented in Weehawken’s 150th anniversary parade.
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The parade’s theme is “Honor our past, celebrate the present, plan for the future,” and is expected to begin at 1 p.m. However, preparations and groups marching will come together at the Highpoint Avenue meeting point at 12:30 p.m.

The grand marshal of the parade is Clara Daley Fleming, the most senior resident in Weehawken. She was born in Weehawken 97 years ago. The longest established family in Weehawken will be represented by Cindy Anne Dally Cimino, whose family can been traced to have lived in Weehawken since the 1840s. The sesquicentennial baby, who was born on the exact date as Weehawken’s 150th anniversary, March 15, 2009, is baby girl Aoife Tighe.

“I even found the queen of Weehawken from the centennial celebration back in 1959 and brought her back to be in the parade,” said Donna Daly from the recreation department.

The end of the parade march will be marked by a three-tier cake float made by Joanne Stepkovich Guerrini.

Throughout Weehawken’s 150th anniversary celebratory events, pins have been given to children who have been collecting them. At the end of the parade, during the food, cake, and refreshments celebration, children will be able to collect a pin for their collection. Joe Cimino and his band, Finish This, will bring music to the celebration.

“It should be an amazing day, which was made possible by all of the hard work from every single person that is in this parade as well as the people behind the scenes like Bobby Barsa of the Parks and Playground Department,” said Daly. “Without his help and his department we could not have gotten everything to come together the way it did.”

Where to get the best view

Parade planners have kept in mind spectators who are eager to get a good view of the parade. Viewing stands will be set up at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument near Blvd. East, and at the intersection St. Lawrence Way and Hackensack Plank Road. There will be other good points of view throughout the streets, which will remain closed as the parade gets closer. Streets will reopen as soon as they are clear of the parade and spectators.

“There will be police and crossing guards helping out,” said Turner.

Roads to be closed

During three hours on Sunday, roads will be closed as the parade passes, then reopened. “We will also have the cooperation of the Port Authority police and Union City police,” said Public Safety Director Jeff Welz.

Police are advising that drivers plan to leave early if they want to drive through the areas in which the parade passes.

The roads to be closed between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. are the following:

• Gregory Avenue

• Highpoint Avenue

• Hudson Avenue

• Maple Street

• Ridgley Place

• Pleasant Avenue

• Park Avenue

• 49th Street

• Blvd East

• Highwood Terrace

• W. 19th Street

• Hackensack Plank Rd.

Melissa Rappaport may be reached at mrappaport@hudsonreporter.com

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