Hoboken committee cancels St. Patrick's Day parade

The Mayor announced there will be no parade after a committee vote to cancel it after years of issues.

January 13, 2012 2:19:01 PM PST
The Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade has been canceled by the parade committee, which cited "the city of Hoboken's inability to protect our spectators, bands and participants."

The announcement was made on the web site HobokenSaintPatricksParade.org

The committee decided to cancel because the city wanted the parade held on a Wednesday instead of the first Saturday in March. Mayor Dawn Zimmer last year said the move was necessary to "reduce the amount of partying that occurs."

Police made 34 arrests related to last year's parade and issued 296 citations for things like urinating in public and carrying open containers of alcohol.

The following is the full text of the announcement:

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 heartbreaking decision.

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 intolerance.

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 your back..."

Sincerely yours,

Hoboken St. Patrick's Parade Committee

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