The Hoboken St. Patrick's Parade Committee
Invites You To Our
Annual Irish Mass
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Our Lady of Grace R.C. Church
400 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, NJ 07030
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Zimmer snubs Irish heritage: Letter
Letters to the Editor/The Jersey Journal Posted: 01/30/2012 3:09
For 25 years, Irish-Americans have been able to celebrate and share
their heritage in Hoboken. Back when the parade started, Hoboken
looked like a deserted decaying set from "On the Waterfront" and
the political administration and business where glad for an event
which drew people into the city. Now, Hoboken has undergone a renaissance
and with shameful ingratitude the administration of Mayor Dawn Zimmer
has shown the parade the door.
Much has been made by the Zimmer administration of arrests made last year and the cost of police overtime. Mayor Zimmer herself admits that these incidents were not directly connected to the parade itself, which her Honor is quoted as describing as a "beautiful event." The problems were the result of bars that opened as early as 9 a.m. and house parties. Hoboken on any weekend will never be mistaken for a monastery. Hoboken has used its night life and reputation as "a fun town" to attract the young professionals that have fueled the city's rebirth. This may explain why Mayor Zimmer is not addressing the root cause of the issues on parade day: the laxity of private unaffiliated alcohol-related businesses who profit from the parade and the overgrown adolescents (who likely couldn't find Ireland on a map, if challenged) who engage in intoxicated idiocy.
It is rather surprising that Mayor Zimmer fails to mention, as reported in the March 14, 2011, Jersey Journal, that the majority of last year's arrest "were downgraded, without explanation, to disorderly persons offenses," hardly a way of sending a message of deterrence.
Instead of showing leadership and addressing the real issues on the day of the parade head on, Mayor Zimmer chose to give the appearance of action by mandating that the St. Patrick's Day Parade be held on a weeknight. I am unsure whether her Honor is naive or deliberately disingenuous. The majority of parade participants, while committed to their heritage, have to work for a living or attend school and a weeknight parade in untenable. Also, should a heritage which has contributed so much to our nation, included nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and hundreds of awardees of the Medal of Honor, be asked to stumble through darkened streets like a thief in the night? Is that what Mayor Zimmer thinks is appropriate recognition for the contributions Irish-Americans have made to our nation?
To their credit, the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee decided to cancel the parade rather than participate in Mayor Zimmer's half-hearted weeknight farce.
Knowing the time and efforts that volunteers spend on organizing events such as this and that it is done as a labor of love, I am sure it was a difficult decision. So what is the result? Hoboken's bar owners are now organizing "Lepra-Con" [sic] an oversized pub crawl with people dressed in green top hats and indulging in the actions straight from a Thomas Nast cartoon.
The Zimmer administration has already announced that it will have on hand the same level of police presence (incurring the same overtime costs) as last year and one can anticipate that "Lepra-Con" as an event revolving solely on drinking may result in more arrests than a parade whose goal was to celebrate heritage. So what has Mayor Zimmer's edict accomplished?
All Mayor Zimmer has succeeded in doing by her actions is killing the parade and destroying the actual celebration of Irish-American Heritage in Hoboken as a sacrifice to political expediency, and for that she should be ashamed. The actions of the Zimmer administration combined with the recent nomination of anti-Irish bigot Thomas Nast to the New Jersey Hall of Fame should have all Irish-Americans questioning if the days of the "Know-Nothings" are coming back to the Garden State.
NEIL F. COSGROVE
NEW CITY, NEW YORK
The Sunday, January 15, 2012 edition of the Daily Record (Bergen
County) published the following editorial. It supports the committee's
position regarding the Hoboken city administration's decision to
move our parade to a Wednesday: www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/137368563_Hoboken_fells_St__Pat
Hoboken St. Patrick's Parade Committee
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 City of Hoboken’s inability
to protect our spectators, bands and participants led us to this
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
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 at
your back ... ...”
Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee
|Helen A. Cunning||Edward T. Cunning Jr.|| John J. Cunning|
|Bernadette Cunning Pehrson
||Joan Smith Cunning
|| John Howe
|Jane Cunning Valente
|| William M. Coughlin
||George W. Crimmins, Jr.
|| Billy Noonan
|Thomas Kennedy, Jr.
|| Mark Critides
||Vincent T. Parker
|John A. Crowe
|| Geraldine Calligy
|| Mary Fallon, S.C.