Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2008
Instead of snapping photos yesterday, I chose to get involved with a different project. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t see what the town looked like yesterday. You can check the comment section of this article to see links to other reader’s galleries, or see some of the 315 pictures Furey, from Philly2Hoboken took in the slide show below.
READ PREVIOUS UPDATES AFTER THE JUMP.
Seems like some bars do care about their neighbors.. A Hoboken411 reader sent this note in that Duffy’s left on their building..
I’ve been out since this morning.. only took a few photos… but I’ll have a fun video this week!
Here’s some visuals from today….
Tomorrow is the “big day” for many party-goers in Hoboken.
The consensus of my informal street-poll this week is that most people think this year will be a bit less out-of-control than previous years. And not because of the cooler weather or the pending frozen precipitation. You know what most folks said? The economy! The zero-tolerance policy didn’t even register on the scale, because most people determined to drink recklessly with either get summonsed again, or try to be more careful this year.
Either way, the over $32,000 (thousand) dollars in overtime the city paid last year will at least be worth something. With extra policeman and efficient sanitation, our city should back back to normal soon enough.
Other residents would rather save up their liver strength for the real St. Patrick’s Day this year, which is March 15th (NOT the 17th.)
If you’d rather live vicariously through the live Hoboken police and fire scanner in the comfort of your own home, be sure to visit the St. Patrick’s Day incident blotter. You need to register for access and post what you hear there.
I know how I feel about this annual drinking frenzy, but was wondering what the rest of you think.
I whipped this list of observations, questions and polls to see what the general consensus is about St. Patrick’s Day in Hoboken.
But here’s a quick reference of items that may come in handy:
- The Hoboken Hospitality Association procedures. (see #10, did anyone receive a letter from a bar or restaurant yet?)
- The Hoboken Zero Tolerance Policy signs being posted (click to enlarge)
What is St. Patty’s Day to you?
For the past 20 years, we all know that on the first Saturday of March, Hoboken becomes the “alcohol and party central” of New Jersey.
Tens of thousands of people pack our 1.27 square mile town each year to attend one or more of the hundreds of parties, local bars or restaurants, and sometimes even to watch the actual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Almost guaranteed to be the busiest day of the year for local police, fire and other officials. (Be sure to get online early to listen to the live Hoboken police and fire radio that day. Only a limited amount of spots are available.)
But what does this mean to you, the actual Hoboken resident? What significance does it play in your life?
FOR THE REST OF THE ENTRY, PLUS THE POLLS:
(St. Patrick’s Day, continued…)
It’s a group gathering, for alcohol
Many annual events bring people together across the country. Sporting events such as the Super Bowl or the World Series (especially when a local team is involved), or a holiday such as New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving or Memorial Day, which are common days most of us share.
Then there are local events in Hoboken, like the Arts & Music Festival, St. Ann’s, and other street fairs (which have non-drinking things like food, crafts, performances). While alcohol is involved with all of these days or events, there is always something else to do, eat or watch.
Let’s face it, local parades such as this are usually short and boring. A bunch of people walking in a line up a street. While we have some talented local kids performing and school bands playing, I doubt many of you have any Hoboken High School mp3’s loaded on your iPod, or pictures of local council people as your desktop wallpaper. This is not the reason why the town becomes so mobbed. It’s purely for the “scene” and the booze. You don’t see the town going nuts during the Hoboken Pet parade, do you?
So who are all these people?
Certainly quite a few Hoboken residents do partake in the “festivities” on our St. Patrick’s Day. But how many? And how many of the total revelers that day actually live in Hoboken? Out of all the folks consuming booze this Saturday:
What do you do?
Many residents I’ve spoken with this year (in fact most) are not too interested in this local holiday. They consider it amateurish and choose to something else other than throw a rowdy party or jam into a bar that has exceeded it’s occupancy limits. Does that mean they don’t drink? Of course not, it’s a Saturday, and would probably prefer to socialize in a more civilized setting.
Not everyone is against it, though.
“But we love it”
Regardless of the percentage of actual Hoboken residents that get amped up for the annual drink-a-thon, the collective group that DOES partake in the massive city-wide party loves it for some reason, right? What are those reasons exactly? Because they feel like they have to? Because “everyone else is doing it?” They might hook up? People-watching? Tradition? Routine?
Parties might not be so bad, depending on who you invite, but…
Most bars, for instance, will be wall-to-wall people. Lines to get in. Lines to pee. Lines to get a drink. To put yourself in a position where “conditions aren’t ideal,” there has to be some benefit, right? What are those benefits?
Money is green
This local holiday isn’t held on the real St. Patrick’s Day (March 15th this year NOT the 17th) in Hoboken for one reason: More money. Why share the day with other cities like NYC (who has the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade – with over 2 million attendees)?
In fact, the real St. Patrick’s Day usually pales in comparison (depending on the day of the week) compared to Hoboken’s first Saturday. The real winners on Saturday will be local bars & restaurants, city workers collecting overtime, and of course the city itself, which made over half a million dollars in fines last year with the stiff and unconscionable $1000 public drinking fines. While I think the word spread from the offenders who had to pony up the grand of cold, hard cash last year, I still believe there will be quite a few summonses handed out this weekend. You know, drinking clouds judgment, right?
Who are the losers?
I do believe the city does a pretty good job at responding to the hundreds of calls they receive for fights, over-crowded bars, property damage, accidents and so on. It’s a non-stop flurry of “this is what happens with alcohol” calls. There’s no way they can possible prevent them all.
So who loses? Do local non-hospitality industry businesses suffer at all? Do people buy clothes, accessories or picture frames on that day? What about the home or car owner who has some damage to their property? Or the person who gets hit by a drunk driver? Or the sad-sack that gets the $1000 ticket for imbibing a drink in the wrong place?
In the end: Is it worth it?
Most of us can probably say: “Been there, done that.”
Personally, there is nothing wrong with partying and having a grand ‘ole time. Shoot, I can have fun any day of the week. It’s when the fun and games reaches such a large and commercialized scale that, tradition or not, isn’t really worth the hassle to me. Are we bonding for a better cause? Have we recently overthrown a dictator? Did we just land on Mars?
Nope. It’s all for the booze.
Seeing the big St. Patrick’s Day Parade is next weekend, let’s get this year’s soap box started with a kickoff letter sent out last week from the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. Also, don’t forget the special mass tomorrow evening at 5:00pm at Our Lady of Grace Church.
Additional updates before, during and after the booze-fest will mostly take place in this post.
Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Set for March 1st
Dick England to be Grand Marshal; Senator Bernie Kenny to Receive Special Recognition
The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee has announced that Richard England, Business Administrator for the City of Hoboken, has been chosen Grand Marshal of the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade scheduled for March 1, 2008 starting at 1:00 PM.
Mr. England has worked for the city for eighteen years after retiring from Maxwell House with thirty-two years of service. In addition to his current role as Business Administrator, he was Commissioner of the Hoboken Parking Authority for thirteen years, a Member of the Board of Education for six years, and a City Councilman for four years. A lifelong Hobokenite, Mr. England is a member of the Hoboken Elks Lodge and is a former Commissioner of Hopes Head Start.
“I was pleasantly surprised to be named Grand Marshal of the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade, an event that I have enjoyed as a spectator since its inception over twenty years ago. I am honored to have been chosen and am looking forward to marching with my children Derek, Daniel, Richard and Katie, who will be my Aides on parade day,” said England.
Also being honored on parade day, Eileen O’Connor Farinola, a veteran volunteer with many community and charitable organizations, will be honored as the 2008 Irish Woman of the Year. Additionally, the former New Jersey Senate Majority Leader, Bernard F. Kenny, Jr., will be presented with a special committee award, the 2008 Man of the Year. It will be given to him in recognition of his lifetime of support for Hoboken and Hudson County, especially his work on Irish immigration and in honor of his Irish heritage.
The parade begins at 14th and Washington Streets, proceeds down Washington Street and concludes at the reviewing stand in front of City Hall. “This is our twenty-first year and the parade promises to be bigger and better than ever. There will be more bands, pipers and marchers than ever before, and we’re expecting record crowds to line Washington Street. The entire parade is great family entertainment,” said Bill Coughlin, Director of Public Relations for the Parade Committee.
“We cordially invite the community to join us at a special St. Patrick’s Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church to take place at five o’clock on Saturday, February 23rd at 400 Willow Avenue,” Coughlin added.