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West Orange Names St. Patrick's Grand Marshal, Deputy Marshals

John F. McKeon, Michael Merwin and Barbara Hughes to be inducted at annual investiture event on Sunday, Feb. 24 and parade slated for Sunday, March 10.

 

The 62nd West Orange Parade Committee has named state Assemb. and former West Orange Mayor John F. McKeon as parade Grand Marshal, officials announced recently.

Michael Merwin and Barbara Hughes have been named Deputy Marshals for the 2013 Parade, which kicks off on Sunday, March 10 at 12:15 at West Orange Town Hall.

In addition, the public is invited to attend the Parade’s Annual Investiture event at Mayfair Farms on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to see the three honorees get inducted

The evening will include hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, coffee, tea, desert, a $1,000 raffle, and a performance by the Eamonn Ryan Band.

Tickets cost $50 per person and are available by calling (973) 868-8178 or via email at westorangeparade@gmail.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

For those unable to attend the event, but who wish to defer the $50,000 cost of the parade, ads in the Parade Journal are available.

The parade festivities begin with Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 9:30 a.m. before the parade begins at 12:15 p.m. at West Orange Town Hall, 66 Main St.

Shuttle buses will be available beginning at 11 a.m. at the corner of Mississippi and Harrison roads to bring marchers and spectators to West Orange Town Hall. The parade route ends at Our Lady of Lourdes. For onlookers, the grandstands are located at the West Orange Community House and the Degnan House.

The parade was founded by two organizations who remain actively involved today — The Irish‐American Society of the Oranges and the Frank O'Hara Association, which is celebrating its 80th year.

These groups remain not only active supporters, but many of the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren of the founders of these groups, many of whom are committee members themselves, will be marching this year to honor their heritage.

“I am very proud to be marching this year,” says Stephanie Gallo, the event’s chairperson, who is also the granddaughter of Frank O’Hara. “I have been marching in this parade with my family and the other founding member families since I was a little girl, and each year this parade brings back so many memories and makes me feel so proud of our history,” she adds.

This year, the parade, which attracts thousands of marchers, including Irish‐American groups in the area, in addition to fraternal, community and school groups, will consist of more than 100 organizations, 25 bands, and 12 colorguards. The organizers welcome any additional participants to sign up here.

For more information, contact Parade Chairperson Stephanie Gallo at (973) 464-7222 or via email at: westorangeparade@gmail.com.

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