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Crowds enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Woodbridge once again

WOODBRIDGE – Ahead of the 49th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Woodbridge, Charles Kenny, who served as grand marshal, predicted this year’s parade would be bigger than usual.

And from the crowds that lined up in their best green to enjoy the Irish festivities that kicked off at Woodbridge High School on March 13, his prediction was correct.

It was a welcoming scene for the Woodbridge American Irish Association, which had to forego its parade last year in precaution of the pandemic.

Kenny joined Irish Lady of the Year Karen Devlin, Irish Man of the Year Jim Leathem, Miss American Irish Sarah Olexa, and Lady in Waiting Victoria Gomez.

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 marshal.

The 47th annual parade was held on March 8, 2020, with grand pomp and circumstance, a week before the novel coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown began in New Jersey.

The Woodbridge American Irish Association is an Irish civic and social organization that has been around for 55 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.

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