Clinton breaks out the green for its St. Patrick’s parade
CLINTON – The Town of Clinton celebrated the wearing of the green on Sunday with the unveiling of an Irish Heritage historical marker and the Second Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The plaque was unveiled in front of the original 1846 28-30-32 Halstead Street home of Frank Mulligan, who arrived in New York penniless in 1837 from County Cavan Ireland and by 1840 had settled in Clinton, soon to be joined by his brothers Patrick and Terence, Rogan said.
The ceremony featured Mayor Janice Kovach, Historic Commission Head Christie Wood, Red Mill Trustee Richard Miller, Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick – Hunterdon County President Shaun Connelly and organizer Sean Rogan, and bagpipers from Saint Ann’s of Hampton Pipes and Drums. John Hurley, last in line of the original Mulligan family, also attended.
“I’m very proud of (The Friendly Sons),” Gary Sanderson, Irishman of the Year, said. “It took a lot of hard work. It’s a proud day to be an Irishman.”
Soon afterward, the parade made its way from the top of Halstead Street, down Center Street, New Street and along Main Street and eventually back up Halstead.
“I’m so honored to be here today,” Grand Marshal Ken Oldam said. “It’s an incredible feeling. It’s something to remember every day of my life.”
Kovach read a proclamation from County Cavan in Ireland in honor of the unveiling.
“We are so excited to be a part of this,” Kovach said. “Especially in the year of our 150th anniversary.”
Along the parade route, Clinton residents Steve Sinoway, his wife Beth Golden, daughter Rachel Sinoway and their labradoodle Tali were on hand to support their son, Jordan Sinoway, who was marching with the North Hunterdon High School Marching Band.
“Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” Golden said. “Even the dogs.”
On Main Street, next to Dora’s Restaurant, the passing parade bands, dancers and pipers stopped for short performances for dignatories such as Kovach, Sanderson, Oldam, Town Crier and former long-time councilman Gene DeCleene and Chris Phelan, president of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.
The parade was led by the flags of the United States of America and the country of Ireland, piper Brian Mauer, the Friendly Sons of Hunterdon County, and the Grand Marshal and Irishman of the Year, with their wives.
Irish dancing was a highlight of the parade, featuring performances by the Heritage School of Irish Dance, Curran School of Irish Dance and O’Grady Quinlian Academy of Irish Dance.
The New Jersey State Police Honor Guard, Pipe Band and marching group, the Clinton Fire Department, Hunterdon County Prosecutor Tony Kearns, represented law enforcement and public safety.
Bagpipers of course had a strong presence, including the Somerset County Police Pipes & Drums Band, The Guard Pipes & Drums, St. Brendan the Navigator Pipes & Drums, and St. Ann’s of Hampton Pipes & Drums.
Hunterdon North High School Band, South Hunterdon Girl Scouts, Immaculate Conception School, Knights of Columbus of Annandale and High Bridge and North Hunterdon Girl Scouts were among the other groups of marchers.
An after parade party for participants was held at the Clinton Fire Department firehouse.
The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick — Hunterdon County paraded through town today — with plenty of company.
It was the second annual Hunterdon County St Patrick’s Day Parade, and the line of march included the Friendly Sons in Irish sweaters; a wealth of pipe bands including St. Ann’s of Hampton; the North Hunterdon High School Marching Band with flag squad; the Clinton Fire Department; 4H members; Irish Setter Rescue; YMCA Adventure Guides; Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III with Chief of Detectives John Kuczynski; state troopers; several contingents from Irish dancing schools; Immaculate Conception School; the Knights of Columbus; and more.
The emcee was David Bolduc. Special honorees were Irishman of the Year Gary Sanderson and grand marshal Ken Oldam. Clinton firefighter Nathan Harrington was saluted (literally) and cheered because he is about to report for duty in the Navy.
The parade was followed by a celebration at the Clinton firehouse, including Irish-American food and drink and music by the Patrick Clifford Band.
The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place last year.