Home Suburban Suburban News

St. Patrick’s weekend festivities to be led by familiar face


SOUTH AMBOY — Parade attendees will see a familiar face as grand marshal at the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The selection of Mayor Fred Henry as grand marshal was announced earlier this year. He will be joined on March 19 by Deputy Grand Marshal Jan Williams, a member of multiple city organizations including the parade committee, and Honorary Grand Marshal Patrick Walsh, who, among his accomplishments, has coached and served on the board for South Amboy Little League.

“It’s certainly well deserved. Mayor Henry has dedicated his life to the City of South Amboy,” Council President and parade Chairman Mickey Gross said when he first announced the pick. He pointed to Henry’s history as a teacher and elected official.

“Hats off to you, mayor,” he said.

Henry, meanwhile, thanked Gross and others for choosing him.

“It’s something I did not expect but greatly welcome,” he said.

At the March 1 City Council meeting, Gross recommended a council resolution honoring Henry, something that was a little outside pre-parade protocol because of who Henry is. Traditionally the city’s mayor issues a proclamation recognizing the parade’s grand marshal.

“Obviously, he can’t be giving himself an award,” Gross said.

As such, he was looking to the council to issue a resolution in place of the proclamation.

There were no council objections to moving ahead with a resolution for Henry.

Gross also said at the meeting that the parade has expanded from one event to a full weekend of events, thanks in large part to a collaboration that includes him, the parade committee, the city’s arts district and the county.

On March 18 there will be a parade Mass at St. Mary’s, a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall, a cocktail party at the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Hall and a free Irish concert sponsored by the county freeholders at the Community Theater.

The following day will be the parade and a post-parade party at the AOH Hall.

“We’ve got a lot of good things going on,” Gross said.

Diana St. John of the South Amboy Arts District echoed the importance of working with other officials to create a more substantial event.

“I worked with City Council President Mickey Gross and the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission to create an expanded celebration of St. Patrick’s Day that includes the Irish Heritage Concert at South Amboy Community Theater,” she said.

For details on the parade, visit southamboyparade.com.

For details on the concert, visit southamboyarts.com.

Exit mobile version