WOODBRIDGE – For Charles Kenny, the honor of serving as Grand Marshal of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Woodbridge is spending time with family.
“My mother and father, especially my mother, loved the parade and loved this time of year,” he said, recalling parties at the family home with Irish music.
His uncle Jimmy was a member of the Irish American Association in Perth-Amboy and took part in a parade on Rector’s Street.
His grandparents were also involved.
“Like our parade, they held a green line in the middle of the street,” he said.
Kenny has been a member of the Woodbridge American Irish Association for over 20 years. He was involved when he was on Woodbridge City Council.
The parade of the 49th American Irish Woodbridge Association is scheduled to begin March 13 at Woodbridge High School, Samuel Lupo Place. The parade will end at City Hall on Main Street.
Kenny will join Irish Lady of the Year Karen Devlin, Irish Man of the Year Jim Letham, Miss American Irishwoman Sarah Oleksa and Lady Waiting for Victoria Gomez.
Kenny expects this year’s parade to be bigger than usual. He said it will be a week after the state’s mandate for masks in schools and children’s institutions is lifted and he expects people to be happy to see their friends, he said.
In 2021, the Council of the American Irish Woodbridge Advice Committee, in consultation with the township, decided to cancel the St. Patrick’s Day parade “with great care for the health and safety of our people.”
Instead of a parade, parade chairman Ben Campbell proposed and led the first-ever Food Parade Association campaign, which made donations to local food chambers.
“Our club’s front committee includes some of the most dedicated and resourceful people, and I’m excited to work with this team,” he said.
Until March 12, the club is again sponsoring food in each of the fire villages.
The parade began in 1974 and was rarely canceled. The last time the parade was canceled was due to Easter in 2010, when the Grand Marshal was Tom Henderson.
The 47th annual parade was held on March 8, 2020 with great pomp and circumstances a week before the new coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey.
The American Irish Woodbridge Association is an Irish non-governmental and non-governmental organization that has existed for 55 years. The association meets monthly and participates in a variety of community activities, including homeless feeding, Justin McCarthy Sponsorship, Charlie Shawnee Park Maintenance, Joe Ward Breakfast, New Jersey Veterans Memorial House in Menla Park in Edison, Edison .
The parade is conducted by volunteers and funded by advertising from local businesses and donations.
Kenny said he is grateful to all the members working behind the scenes to make the parade a great success year after year.
Those who want to support and donate or take part in the parade should visit Amerirish.com.