Atlantic City, NJ keeps St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition alive
☘ The shortened parade route is Saint James Place to Albany Avenue
☘ Bands and groups have already expressed interest in marching
☘ A lack of communication between parade committee members led to its premature cancellation
Reports of no St. Patrick's Day Parade in Atlantic Cty for a fourth year in a row were greatly exaggerated, as Mayor Marty Small announced Tuesday that the parade was still on.
The parade will step off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 12 with an inclement weather date of Saturday, March 18. The parade was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on crowd sizes and again in 2022.
The Atlantic City parade was announced as being canceled for a fourth year in a row, which was disappointing news for Sonny McCullough. After a phone call to Small, the former state senator found himself as chairman of the parade committee as Small committed the resources of the city to the parade.
"We support all cultures here in the great city of Atlantic City and more importantly we support tradition. And this is a tradition that when called upon my administration said 'absolutely. We will give you the tools necessary to make this a reality," Small said during an announcement.
The parade will be a shortened 3-mile route from the Irish Pub at St. James Place to Albany Avenue at the Knife and Fork Inn. Its owners, Frank and Joe Dougherty, are the parade's grand marshals.
McCullough said that the initial word of the parade's "uncancelling" was met with an enthusiastic response.
"The phone calls that we've had just with a brief press announcement was amazing. People from all over the Delaware Valley want to march on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in honor of Saint Patrick," McCollough said.
McCollough said they're calling this the St. Patrick's Parade — not St. Patrick's Day — because it will not happen on the exact holiday, March 17.
Longtime parade board member Tim Kelly said the decision to cancel was the result of a lack of communication.
"The decision was made between a couple of them and didn't reach out to the rest. That's where the confusion came from. I'm the only one who usually submits an application. I did not submit an application this year. I was on board with the 'half a parade' idea," Kelly said.
He said there was concern by some members with the boardwalk's weight limits, which prevented the parade from marching past the Tropicana where the crowd was the largest.
"That parade committee deemed it necessary to postpone it until the vehicles and everything could finish the full parade," Kelly said.
Kelly said there is no additional cost to the parade committee for additional police. The only expense is to the marching bands and insurance which costs $15,000-$20,000.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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