St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee: ‘It’s over’

The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee released the following letter:

Dear Hoboken Community,

The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee met earlier this week to discuss what would have been our 26th annual parade. After a long, arduous and sad meeting, the committee has decided to cancel the 2012 Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade.
The parade committee is proud of its traditions and the countless Hobokenites who were honored to march down Washington Street over the years. Since 1986, the first Saturday in March has been a glorious day to honor Saint Patrick and our Irish heritage. We are forever indebted to our long-time sponsors, neighbors and friends who came out to enjoy the day each year.

For those who were not here in the beginning, or think that 26 years is not long enough of a tradition, we remind all that the parade was a strong catalyst in the revitalization of the Hoboken we love so dearly today.

There are many opinions on this topic and many who will be surprised by our decision. We chose not to go to court and not to continue to negotiate over the heavy-handedness of one person. The idea of marching in a parade, in the dark, on a week night, is as insulting as it is unreasonable. While we remain devoted to our heritage, we love our city too much to lower ourselves to the level of those who speak from a place of ignorance and ethnic/religious intolerance.
Moving forward, we will proudly consider the gracious invitations we have received from other communities throughout the State of New Jersey to march in their celebrations of Irish heritage. Evidently, there are some elected officials elsewhere in the state who have figured out how to protect their residents during ethnic, religious and other community celebrations.
Like our ancestors before us, some of whom are credited with building Hoboken, we are not “St. Patrick’s Day Irish.” We are committed, proud, and blessed with long memories.
As is our tradition, we cordially invite everyone to worship with us at our Irish Mass honoring Saint Patrick on Saturday, February 25th at 5:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church.

Until we meet again, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always
your back …”

Talking Ed Note: Mayor Zimmer had invited the committee to work on holding the parade on a Wednesday.  The committee had requested in late 2011 it be held again on a Saturday.
Some people have noted no parade is required for a Mardi Gras type party the first Saturday in March.  Hoboken’s Police Department is prepared for that eventuality.

Mayor: ‘Read my lips – No St. Paddy’s Parade on a Saturday’
January 3, 201
In a letter to the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Committee founder Helen Cunning, Mayor Zimmer reiterated her decision to see the annual parade moved from the first Saturday in March to a Wednesday in the month – or have no parade at all.
A meeting last month with the parade committee including Helen Cunning sought to have the mayor change her decision and see the parade brought back on a Saturday even after reports of rape surfaced last year.  Of the two cases reported, it’s not clear if charges were filed but there’s at least one other report MSV knows where a woman was assaulted from behind with her pants pulled down on a street off Washington in broad daylight.  The attack was stopped when a passing vehicle intervened on the scene.
A story on Hoboken Patch earlier said it was uncertain when the parade would be held but Mayor Zimmer had not moved from her decision last March that the parade would no longer be held on Saturday and her proposal for a Wednesday parade was final writing “I stand by my decision.”  Based on the parade committee’s position referenced in the letter they can not host a parade on a Wednesday, it’s unclear if there will be any parade this year.
The mayor called community safety the number one issue in her decision but also highlighted the oppressive burden on residents in property damage and increasing crime.  Last year Hoboken University Medical Center had a one day record with 166 admissions. One unconfirmed report of a man suffering numerous skull fractures is said to be among them.
Last year the parade cost the City of Hoboken $125,000 and efforts to have voluntary contributions from local businesses defer more of the costs have had limited success.
The Hoboken Police Department is already prepared to mobilize for the first Saturday in March, the traditional day the parade has been held and other as yet unannounced measures.
Talking Ed Note: MSV’s 2010 Horse Sense editorial can be found here on this issue.  We’ll note that injuries have more than doubled, the serious assaults have in fact taken place and all that’s left is loss of life and the inevitable lawsuit that follows.

Leave a Reply