You don’t have to be Irish to love Bay Ridge St. Patrick Day Parade
Irish eyes were certainly smiling on Bay Ridge’s Third Avenue on Sunday, as the neighborhood celebrated the spirit of Saint Patrick and saluted the Emerald Isle in grand style.
But Irish eyes weren’t the only ones smiling at the 22nd Annual Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Spectators, who eagerly lined the route along Third Avenue from Marine Avenue to 67th Street, were treated to a variety of memorable sights and sounds, bagpipe bands, high school marching bands, Irish step dancers and colorful floats.
Leading the marchers up Third Avenue was Col. Joseph Davidson, the commanding officer of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton, who was chosen by the parade’s organizing committee to serve as the grand marshal. “They don’t get any better than him,” Frankie Marra, president of the organizing committee, told the Brooklyn Eagle.
The deputy grand marshals were Colleen Golden, Eileen Brett, Marie Moloney, Jenny Nielsen, Michael Butler, Tom McCarthy, Mick Dorgan and Mark Langton.
The day started off with a mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church at 9511 Fourth Ave., where the grand marshal and deputies were given a special blessing by members of the clergy. Following the mass, everyone walked across the street from the church to Hunter’s Steak and Ale House at 9404 Fourth Ave. for a VIP brunch hosted by the parade committee.
Among the people who approached Davidson at the brunch to congratulate him was Mike Long, New York State Conservative Party chairman, who is a past grand marshal.
The famous faces at the brunch included New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, who also marched in the parade.
In addition to Marra, the parade committee members are Kelly MacLellan, Barbara Slattery, Eileen Brett, Denise Benardello-Frederick, Tom MacLellan, Peter Clavin, Fiona Forde, Kathy Burke, Patrick Harkin and Brendan Moloney.
Marra said that he’s proud of the fact that the committee has expanded its mission in recent years to move beyond the parade itself.
For example, the committee recently established scholarships for Catholic school students in the Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights area. Scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to eighth grade students from St. Ephrem School, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Holy Angels Catholic Academy, St. Anselm Catholic Academy and St. Patrick Catholic Academy.
The scholarships will help the students toward the tuition costs at the Catholic high schools they will be attending in September, Marra said.
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