2/16/2010 Update:

Despite the ongoing debate about Hoboken’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade – the show is still set to go on. Here’s some additional info about the parade, with less than three weeks to go.

Grand Marshal Announced

The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee announced today that Bernadette Cunning Pehrson has been named the 2010 Grand Marshal. The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade will take place Saturday, March 6th at 1:00 PM on Washington Street.

“We are extremely honored to have Bernadette Cunning Pehrson as this year’s Grand Marshall. Bernadette has been on the parade committee since its inception in 1985 and has worked tirelessly on its planning and logistics year after year. Additionally, Bernadette has been active in Irish unity and cultural pursuits, including having served as President of the Irish American Unity Conference – Hudson County Chapter as well as National Secretary of the conference. Bernadette was also part of a small coalition that brought Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams to the United States for the first time in 1998, just before the signing of the historic Good Friday peace agreement,” said Bill Noonan, Co-Chair of this year’s parade.

Additionally, the committee announced that Carol Ann Wilson, long-time Hoboken resident, Director of Health and Human Services for Hudson County, and an activist for numerous Catholic charities, has been named Irishwoman of the Year. Similarly, Dr. John Crowe, Superintendent for the Woodbridge Township School District and recipient of numerous statewide and national educator awards, was named Irishman of the Year. James J. Farina, Hoboken City Clerk and a long-time supporter of the parade, has been named Honorary Irishman. The Community Service Award winner is Patricia Scribner for her work aiding the homeless and supporting other community causes. Irish Firefighter of the Year is Hoboken Battalion Chief Brian Greene and Irish Policeman of the Year is Detective Nick Burke.

Irish Party plus special Mass

“The committee looks forward to honoring our Grand Marshall and our other honorees at our upcoming Irish Party. These individuals represent all of the great things about the Irish-American community in Hoboken. They are all energetic, hard-working individuals whose vigorous support of local charities, schools and civic organizations is remarkable. We hope that many people from our community will turn out to honor these fine people at our Irish Party to be held on Sunday, February 21st from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Our Lady of Grace School Auditorium on Willow at Fifth Street,” Noonan added.

The Hoboken Irish Party will feature live music, dancing, a hot corned beef dinner and an open bar. Tickets for the party are $50 each and can be purchased in advance at Mulligan’s and Willie McBride’s, or call 201-420-7842.

The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee has also made arrangements for the Annual St. Patrick’s Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church to take place at 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 27th.

See original update after the jump – including Hoboken411′s great suggestions, some of which have already been implemented by HPD!

1/12/2010:

Annual Hoboken SPD Parade March 6, 2010

Hoboken St. Patricks DayTo cut to the skinny – at last week’s City Council Meeting, the City of Hoboken formally confirmed that this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and festivities will take place on Saturday, March 6th, 2010.

Despite discussion last year about possibly canceling or moving the Parade to a Sunday, the events will commence, due to “acts being booked” and other reasons (in other words, they were “too late”…)

Police Chief Anthony Falco, Sr. (who’s doing a fabulous job so far) – indicated that plans are being made to roll out nearly 100% of the police force on that day to ensure the safety, peace and order for the city’s residents.

If this sounds all fine and dandy to you, then no reason to read on.

However, if you think there’s more to this story…

But many unanswered questions remain!!

While I applaud the efforts of the Hoboken Police Department (on events like the 2009 Macy’s Fireworks which were held right in the Hudson River), some deeper questions need to be asked about this annual tradition:

  • Tickets as budget gap revenue? It’s one thing to issue the proper summonses and deal with unruly drunks each year. It’s an entirely different situation to “bait and switch,” and encourage drinking for the purpose of earning money for the city. One way to show that the city isn’t in it “just for the money,” is to create a high-profile public awareness campaign. Residents don’t just want $1000 tickets handed-out, they want less disruption, destruction and retardation in general (which is priceless). Some suggested PR campaign ideas are:
    • GIANT signs at all major entrances to Hoboken for at least a week prior to the parade. Warnings about $1000 tickets, arrests, and the zero-tolerance policy.
    • Advertising fliers on public transportation (buses, PATH, NJ Transit and Taxis)
    • A commercial on Cablevision and local news channels. And not just a dopey politician or spokesperson. Make it a GOOD commercial. Showing drunken buffoons partying and acting like idiots. Then show them getting roughed up and arrested by police officers. Include a high-energy soundtrack, fancy graphics and a stern warning. You need to reach the right demographic, you know what I’m saying?
  • Why did we wait so long? Funny, after last year’s debacle, the discussion quickly rose about what to do this year. However, with all the politicking and campaigning – it seems our elected officials dropped the ball. And why does the “St. Patrick’s Day Committee” have the final word? If we want to change the day of the parade now, then we should very well do that. They booked the acts? Too bad. Just another shining example of how “on the ball” our current administration is.
  • 100% Double Shift Cops? One thing that concerns me about having an entire day with every single Hoboken Police Officer on duty – is what happens the NEXT SHIFT? What you’ll have then is 100% of the cops that are all tired and on their second shift. What does that say? Will the city be extra susceptible the next day? Are there any liabilities to be worried about? Can we get help from other municipalities? Possibly even for less than overtime HPD officers?

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