2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade canceled in Woodbridge due to pandemic

PHOTOS BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

WOODBRIDGE – The 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade was essentially the last large gathering in Woodbridge since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The 47th annual parade was held on March 8, 2020, with grand pomp and circumstance.

This year, the Woodbridge American Irish Association’s Parade Committee, in consultation with the township, has decided to cancel the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our residents.”

The parade started in 1974 and is rarely canceled. The last time the parade was canceled was due to a Nor’easter in 2010 when Tom Henderson was grand marshall.

“Each year on the second Sunday in March, we gather to share our Irish heritage and bring the entire Woodbridge Township and surrounding community together for a day of fun,” said Ken Gardner, publicity chairman for the Woodbridge American Irish Association.

The Woodbridge American Irish Association is an Irish civic and social organization that has been around for 54 years. The association meets monthly and participates in a variety of community service events including feeding the homeless, sponsoring the Justin McCarthy Scholarship, maintaining Charlie Shaughnessy Park, holding the Joe Ward Breakfast, visiting the New Jersey State Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park in Edison, and participating in Tooling Around the Township.

The parade is run by volunteers and funded with advertisements from local businesses and donations.

The association plans on holding an Irish concert on Sept. 19 after the township’s summer series ends with a “halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” theme. Details will be provided in the future.

“We also look forward to marching again on March 13, 2022,” Gardner said. “Until then, please know that the association and parade committee keep you, your family and those affected by the virus in our prayers for a safe and healthy future.”