Pearl River St. Patrick's Day Parade co-chairperson Mary O'Sullivan took a moment to answer a couple of last-minute questions about the event Thursday.
One was simply if she was having a crazy enough week.
"We're working on our second crazy week," O'Sullivan said with a laugh.
The Rockland County Men's Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies' Ancient Order of Hibernians sponsor the parade, with O'Sullivan and William Lee as co-chairs, but the list of acknowledgements in the parade program is a long one (see below). That's what it takes to put together a parade that often draws 70,000 people or more to the relatively small Hamlet of Pearl River.
"The town is terrific," said Vince Tyer, president of the Rockland County AOH. "The highway department, parks and recreation, the Pearl River fire department. Everybody cooperates to pull this off. Pfizer allows us to use their parking lot. CVS allows us to use their lot for TV. It is quite a bit with all the groups to pull it off."
One reason it works is that the planning goes on almost year round.
"We’ve been doing it 49 years, so we kind of worked out a pretty efficient system," Tyer said. "The two chairpeoople we have run it. There are 20-to-25 people on the committee. We take a couple weeks after the parade, then start planning following year’s parade within month of this year’s parade. It takes an 11-month process to get it squared away."
Tyer and everybody else involved seem happy with the results of their efforts.
"All of the St. Patrick’s Day parades have a certain spirit to them," Tyer said. "It is a celebration of culture and history, that make them kid of a fun day, a fun family day to go out and take part."
"The Rockand parade, it’s the second largest in the State of New York after the city parade, but it's still a family, local, small-town feeling," said 2011 parade Grand Marshal Tim O'Neill. "When you go that day, you see pople you see maybe once a eyar. Eveybody seems to know everybody. It's just a real nice parade. Everybody tries to keep it that way, that hometown-type feeling when you are there."
It is also a day when Pearl River itself gets to shine.
"Pearl River is special just because of the nature of the town," Tyer said. "There is a lot of pride in Pearl River that the parade has been here as long as it has. The whole town turns out for the parade. People have family events before and after the parade. Last year with weather the way it was, it was amazing driving around town afterwards with all the different get-togethers.
This year's parade is dedicated to the victims and those who served during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Parade Commander Ernest Vallebuona is one of many first responders from that day who has battled related health issues since and he is not the only one who will be thinking of that day today.
"We’re glad they are recognizing it," said Orangetown Police Officer Harold Johnson, who played a big role in planning emergency services for today. "Me, I recognize it every day. I have friends and family that were involved. We remember every day and we are glad to see other organizations do the same."
The following is the route for the Pearl River St. Patrick's Day Parade.
- Starts at. Pfizer, Inc. parking lot
- Down N. Middletown Road to intersection with E. Central Avenue.
- Turns right onto E. Central Avenue.
- Turns left onto S. Main St.
- Ends at Pearl River Post Office.
LINE OF MARCH AND PROGRAM
The following is the program and line of march for the Pearl River St. Patrick's Day parade. It can also be found here. The television schedule is included, as are acknowledgements.
49th Annual Pearl River St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Sponsored By the Men and Women of the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians
Sunday, March 20, 2011
At 1:30 P.M.
Pearl River, New York
As we near the 40th Anniversary of the Ballymurphy Massacre (August 9th through August 11th, 1971), where 11 innocent people were murdered by British Soldiers, the members of the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians remember and honor the sacrifices made by those forgotten souls. As the perpetrators of this heinous act involves the Parachute Regiment (the same that was involved with Bloody Sunday, Derry, January 1972), the Ballymurphy families believe the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday should have examined the killing of their relatives as well. As the Saville Report has garnered an apology from England’s Prime Minister David Cameron and admitted wrong doing by the British Army, the families of Ballymurphy deserve the same. Had the world’s media been present during the attacks of innocent people in August 1971 - there may have never been a Bloody Sunday.
The members of the Rockland County AOH/LAOH pay tribute to past Grand Marshal, N.Y.S. Senator Thomas Morahan, who passed away in July 2010. He will forever be remembered as a Friend to the Irish Community in Rockland County.
As we enter into the tenth anniversary year of the tragic events of 9/11/01, it is right and fitting that we dedicate this year’s 49th Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day parade to the victims and to all those who served through one of the darkest periods in our nation’s history. It is particularly appropriate that we as Irish Americans remember this event as we celebrate our heritage and culture today. As in every previous war and civil emergency, the Irish have always been there to answer America’s call. Among them was Father Mychal Judge, the son of County Leitrim immigrants, who is officially listed as 9/11 victim number 1, killed while ministering to others.
The first St. Patrick’s day parade after the tragedy of 9/11 was the largest public assembly of New Yorkers since that tragic day in September. Americans of all backgrounds watched the poignant tribute as the FDNY, for the first time, carried 343 American Flags to recall their members who made the supreme sacrifice, more than a few were Irish Americans, many from this area. For far too many, the Towers are still falling, as their call to service on that day has permanently damaged their health. Many of our sons and daughters are not here to watch this parade. They serve our country in battling the enemy that orchestrated this attack on America. To them, and to all who serve our country, we dedicate this parade.
John J. Foody, Kay Hogan, Mary Holt-Moore, Diane O’Donnell, Jack Ryan, Susan Sheridan and Monsignor Weber
Parade Co-Chairperson - Mary O’Sullivan
Parade Co-Chairperson – William Lee
Formation Chairman – Mark Walker
Secretary – Carmel Reilly
Treasurer – Jim Russell
Awards & Judges Chairperson - Patricia Dwyer
Arrangements Committee – Jim Russell, Matty Reilly and John J. Foody
Ball Chairpersons - Patricia and Dan Barry
Journal Chairman – Martin Fogarty, Jr.
Parade Announcers – Michael & Neil O’Sullivan
Other Committee Members: Jim McDonnell, Jim Walsh, Tim O’Neill, John Lowry, Helen Murphy, Jim Normoyle, Tim Hopkins, Kevin Donohue, Gail Rogo, Neil Cosgrove, Lillian Murphy, Tom Leavey, Bobby Mulholland, Dermot Moore, Joan Moore, Barry Tesseyman, Ray Sheridan, Cy Hughes, Vince Tyer and Linda Sheridan
We must remember and support the people of Ireland and especially those individuals in the North of Ireland who strive on a daily basis for Peace, Justice and Unity.
Parade Commander: Detective Ernest Joseph Vallebuona III
Orangetown Police Honor Guard
Rockland County A.O.H. Banner
Rockland County Sheriff’s Police Division Color Guard
Rockland County A.O.H. Edward V. Larkin Memorial Pipe Band
Grand Marshal: Timothy O’Neill, A.O.H. Division #1
Aides to the Grand Marshal:
Maureen Fogarty, L.A.O.H. County Board
John Franklin, A.O.H. Div. #1
Christine Thamson, L.A.O.H Div. #1
Lillian Murphy, L.A.O.H. Div. #2
Christopher Gallagher, A.O.H. Div #3
Loretta Reidy, L.A.O.H. Div. #3
Patrick Withers, A.O.H. Div. #4
Colleen Latimer, L.A.O.H. Div # 4
Allan Ryff, A.O.H. Div #5
Maureen O’Connor, Rockland County Feis
Theresa O’Rourke-Wolanski, Rockland Irish American Cultural Center
Pauline O’Connor, Rockland Gaelic Athletic Association
Cyril Kerr, Rockland County Police Emerald Society
T.B.A, Rockland County Shields
Rockland County Parade Co-Chairperson: Mary O’Sullivan
Rockland County Parade Co-Chairperson: William Lee
National A.O.H. Freedom for All Ireland: Sean Pender
New York State L.A.O.H. President: MegEllen Redling
Rockland County A.O.H. President: Vincent D. Tyer III
Rockland County L.A.O.H. President: Linda Sheridan
A.O.H. Chaplain: Msgr. John Mulligan
Vicar of Rockland County: Msgr. Edward J. Weber
Aide to the Grand Marshal N.Y.C.: Francis McDonagh
Rockland County Hibernian of the Year: Tom Leavey
Rockland County Businessmen of the Year: Richard Windram & Jim Walsh
Judiciary, Federal, State, County and Town Officials
C. Scott Vanderhoef, Rockland County Executive
Rockland County Sheriff’s Correction Division Honor Guard
Rockland County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol
Yonkers Firefighters Pipes and Drums
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”
(Robert Francis Kennedy)
Color Guard and Members: Veterans of Foreign Wars
Color Guard and Members: American Legion Post 329
Jewish War Veterans of U.S.A.
St. Raymond Academy Band
Color Guard and Members: Korean War Veterans of Rockland County: Eagle Chapter
Color Guard and Members: Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 333
Pearl River High School Marching Band
Rockland County Marine Corps League
Color Guard and Members: League 82nd Airborne Division Association, Inc.
American History Timeline
Blackthorn Pipe Band
Chorwon Chapter American-Korean War Veterans Association of New Jersey
Taejon Chapter 170 Korean War Veterans Association of New Jersey
Korean War Veterans Association MASH 4099 Chapter
Ramapo Police Honor Guard
Rockland County Emerald Society Pipe Band
Rockland County Emerald Society
Rockland County Firefighters Pipes and Drums
Pearl River Fire Department
Battalion Commander: Joseph McKiernan, A.O.H. Division #3, Pearl River
Paramus Police Honor Guard
Police Pipes and Drums of Bergen County
A.O.H. Members Division #3, Pearl River
Inishfree Irish Dancing
Cardinal Hayes Marching Band
St. Margaret’s School, Pearl River
St. Margaret’s Parish and C.C.D., Pearl River
Pearl River Scouts
Pipes and Drums of the AOH Orange County
County Offaly Association
Paramus Catholic Marching Paladins
Battalion Commander: Kevin Shannon, A.O.H. Division #1, North Rockland
Clarkstown Honor Guard
Hudson Valley Regional Police Pipes and Drum
A.O.H. Members Division #1, North Rockland
Respect Life, Inc.
Woods School of Irish Dance
Iona College Pipes and Drums
Iona College Alumni
St. Gregory Barbarigo School, Garnerville
The New Horizon Twirlers
Jersey City Police Department Emerald Society
Port Authority Police Pipes and Drums
North Rockland Scouts
St. Paul’s School
Battalion Commander: Ken Moran, A.O.H. Division #4, Suffern
New York State Court Officers Honor Guard
New York State Court Pipes and Drums
A.O.H. Members Division #4, Suffern
Rockland County Knights of Columbus
Verlin School of Irish Dance
Transit Pride Pipe & Drum of the N.Y.C. Transit Authority
County Sligo Men’s S.& B. Association, Inc.
L.A.O.H. Orange County
Sacred Heart School, Suffern
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94 Pipe Band
St. Joseph’s Regional High School
Ross School of Irish Dance
Battalion Commander: Alice Fogarty, L.A.O.H. Division #3, Pearl River
Westwood Volunteer Fire Department Honor Guard
Manhattan College Pipe Band
L.A.O.H. Division Members #1, #2, #3 and #4
Rose of Rockland and her Rosebuds – Erin Marie Loughran
Scoil Rince Moran Irish Step Dancing
St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Pipes and Drums of the Police Emerald Society of Westchester
Police Emerald Society of Westchester
St. Anthony’s School
Sword of Light
Albertus Magnus High School
St. Augustine School
Battalion Commander: Jimmy Johnson, A.O.H. Division #5, South Orangetown
Bergen County American Legion Color Guard
Elevator Constructors Local 1 of NY/NJ Pipe Band
A.O.H. Members, Division #5, South Orangetown
McBride Chapter I.N.A.
Broesler School of Irish Dance
F.D.N.Y. Emerald Society Pipes & Drums
F.D.N.Y. Emerald Society
County Limerick’s Men S&B Association
Clan Na Gael
South Orangetown Scouts
County Tyrone Pipe Band
Rockland Irish American Cultural Center
Regional Lions Club
N.Y. Metro Band
Rockland Gaelic Athletic Association
Orangetown Highway Department
Bridget T. Kilgallen Memorial
William A. Dwyer Jr. Memorial
Connie O’Sullivan Memorial
O’Malley’s of Nyack Bar & Restaurant
Shop Rite of Pearl River
Shop Rite of Stony Point
Ireland’s 32 – In Memory of Danny Withers
Mary Franklin Memorial
Luigi O’Grady’s Deli & Catering
Annie A. and James P. Russell Memorial
Timmy John O’Riordan Memorial
Murty’s Publick House
Alice Donaghy Memorial
The A.O.H. St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee expresses their sincere thanks
to the following groups and individuals who helped make this parade possible:
Hon. C. Scott Vanderhoef, County Executive
Hon. Paul G. Whalen, Orangetown Supervisor and Orangetown Town Board
Orangetown Parks & Recreation
Orangetown Highway Department
County Leitrim Society
County Sligo Men’s S&B Association, Inc.
Use of their facilities: Pearl River Hook & Ladder Co. #1
Use of their parking lot: Pfizer Corporaton, Pearl River, N.Y.
The Ambulance Corps of Pearl River, South Orangetown, Nanuet
Rockland County Times
Rockland Journal News
Special Thanks to the Orangetown Police Department and Auxiliary, New York State Troopers, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department, Suffern Police Department, Clarkstown Auxiliary and Ramapo Auxiliary for their cooperation and assistance in the putting on of the Parade.
For Irish Events in and out of Rockland County, check out Rockland County A.O.H. County Board, http://www.RocklandCountyAOH.com, L.A.O.H County Board http://www.rclaoh.com, A.O.H. Division 3, Pearl River http://www.praoh.org, A.O.H. Division 4, Suffern http://www.suffernaoh.com
Rockland County Men’s Ancient Order of Hibernians
Rockland County Ladies’ Ancient Order of Hibernians
Parade Schedule on Cablevision:
Channel 118 exclusively on Cablevision in Rockland and Westchester, Channel 78 in Warwick
Sunday, March 20, 2011 -- 8:00pm
Thursday, March 24, 2011 -- 11:00am
Friday, March 25, 2011 -- 2:30pm
Sunday, March 27, 2011 -- 8:00pm
Thursday, March 31, 2011 -- 11:00am
Friday, April 1, 2011 -- 2:30pm
Parade Schedule on Verizon FIOS:
Click “On Demand” anytime