Tuesday, March 6, 2007

2007 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade

You have missed the best day of your life if you have never been in New York City on Saint Patrick's Day. You not only missed the best parade in your life, you missed a lot a happy people celebrating. On this day each year, all people claim to be Irish, no matter what your nationality. Other cities will parade and celebrate on Saint Patrick's Day, but none can compete with the Big Apple.

Congratulations to the 2007 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Raymond L. Flynn.

Saturday, March 17th 2007

Starting @ 44th Street and Fifth Avenue @11:00 a.m.

The Solemn Pontifical Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral <> 50th Street and Fifth Avenue @ 8:30 a.m.

Last years parade was dedicated to the fighting 69th- Taskforce Wolfhound who served in Iraq and the 19 who were killed in action.

Tribute to the "Fighting 69th Infantry", New York Army National Guard, The 69th Regiment of New York.

The Central Park transverse roads will stay open to traffic. Pedestrian crossing along the parade route will be allowed on 49th Street to 55th Street, 57th Street and 58th Street, 59th Street eastbound only and 60th Street westbound only.

Now Marching for the 246th Consecutive Year Up Fifth Avenue in New York City - Marched for the first time on March 17, 1762 - Sixteen Years before the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

This year Raymond L. Flynn will be the 2007 New York City Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal.

The Parade will be reviewed from the steps of Saint Patrick's Cathedral by His Eminence Cardinal Edward Eagan, Archbishop of New York. It will also be reviewed from the Official Reviewing Stand at 64th Street and 5th Avenue.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th).

Former Grand Marshal include: 2005 Grand Marshal Denis P. Kelleher, 2004 Grand Marshal Thomas W. Gleason and 2003 James G. O'Connor was the Grand Marshal the year before, and Mayor Bloomberg marched along with nearly 150,000 others proudly wearing the green, as millions gawk along the parade route and watch on TV.

Four year ago marked the 241st New York St. Patrick's Day Parade, the world's largest. Edward Cardinal Egan was the Grand Marshall, and Mayor Bloomberg will marched along with nearly 150,000 others proudly wearing the green, as millions gawk along the parade route and watch on TV.

Several years ago parade was dedicated to the 'Heroes of 9/11, ' including police, fire and all rescue workers. At around midday, the parade will pause for one minute as Cardinal Egan leads participants in a prayer from the reviewing stand at 64th Street and 5th Avenue. It's a reminder that St. Paddy's Day is a religious holiday back in the motherland, even though for New Yorkers it's a chance to party hardy like any good Irishman. There probably isn't a bigger day when green face paint, green food coloring, green nail polish, and green clothes are on display. And there's pure Irish pageantry, of course, led by the 165th Infantry (originally the 69th Regiment of the 1850's). You'll see the Ancient Order of Hibernians, 30 Irish county societies and various Emerald, Irish-language and Irish nationalist societies.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, clan by clan, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th). It will probably be televised on NBC.

The first official parade in the City was held in 1766 by Irishmen in a military unit recruited to serve in the American colonies. For the first few years of its existence, the parade was organized by military units until after the war of 1811. At that point in time, Irish fraternal and beneficial societies took over the duties of hosting and sponsoring the event.

Originally, Irish societies joined together at their respective meeting places and moved in a procession toward St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, St. James Church, or one of the many other Roman Catholic churches in the City. However, as the years passed, the size of the parade increased and around the year 1851, as individual societies merged under a single grand marshal, the size of the parade grew sharply.

Each year a unit of soldiers marches at the head of the parade; the Irish 165th Infantry (originally the 69th Regiment of the 1850's) has become the parade's primary escort, and they are followed by the various Irish societies of the city. Some of the other major sponsors and participants in the parade are the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the thirty Irish county societies, and various Emerald, Irish-language, and Irish nationalist societies.

The annual parade down Fifth Avenue to honor the patron saint of Ireland is a New York tradition that dates as far back as 1766. The festivities kick off at 44th Street and Fifth Avenue at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 17th, with bagpipers, high school bands, and the ever-present politicians making their way up Fifth Avenue to 86th Street, where the parade will probably finish around 4:30 or 5:00 pm.

The best viewing spots are toward the north end of the parade route, away from the shopping and work-a-day crowds that throng the sidewalks below 59th Street. Try sitting on the upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a great view or catching a close-up view of the marchers where the parade turns east on 86th Street.

The New York Convention & Visitors Bureau says that the St. Patrick's Day Parade is the largest and most famous of the many parades held in the city each year.

Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick's Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets. In subsequent years Irish fraternal organizations also held processions to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The various groups merged sometime around 1850 to form a single, grand parade.

The parade marches up 5th Avenue, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11am on St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17th). It will probably be televised on NBC.

History of Saint Patrick

We celebrate Saint Patrick's Day each year on March 17th. The festive holiday has everyone wearing green (so they don't get pinched) and chatting of four leaf clovers, shamrocks, lucky leprechauns, and kissing some big rock called a blarney stone. Does it all sound a bit strange? It did to me too but after a bit of research it all made sense. Here's what I found out.

Did you know that Saint Patrick's name at birth was Maewyn Succat? He was born somewhere near the end of the fourth century and took on the name Patrick or Patricus, after he became a priest, much later in his life. At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat was kidnapped from his native land of Britain, by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six long years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast of Gaul.

In Gaul, Maewyn became Patrick (a more christian name) and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. St. Palladius was appointed to go to Ireland first but transferred to Scotland two years later opening up the door for Patrick. Patrick was about sixty years old when he arrived in Ireland and it is said that he had a winning personality that helped him win converts. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, to help explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).

Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Evidently, they all went into the sea and drowned. The snake is a pagan symbol and perhaps this is a figurative tale explaining that he drove paganism out of Ireland.

Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The first year St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. As the saying goes, on this day "everybody is Irish!" Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick's Day parades.


St. Patrick used the shamrock leaf to symbolize the Trinity, and today many people wear a shamrock to commemorate Saint Patrick's Day.

Blarney Stone

So what's all this talk of kissing the Blarney Stone?

Blarney Castle is located in County Cork, Ireland. Built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhim McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) the Blarney stone is located in the southern tower wall between the main castle wall and the parapet. In order to kiss the stone one has to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. It is said that the Blarney stone has magical properties. As legend has it an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.


Just what does a Leprechaun look like and why are they so special? A Leprechaun (Irish fairy) looks like a little old man. He's about 2 feet tall and dresses like a shoemaker with a cocked hat and leather apron. A Leprechaun's personality is described as aloof and unfriendly. They live alone and pass the time by making shoes. They're special because they also possess a hidden pot of gold.

If you listen closely for the sound of their hammer you might be able to capture one. If you do you can force him (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal where he's hidden his treasure. Be careful! Do not take your eyes off him for if you do he will surely vanish and your hopes of finding his treasure will vanish with him.


So why do we all wear green?

Probably because you'll be pinched if you don't! School children started this tradition. Green is also the color of spring, the shamrock and is connected with hope and nature.

The luck of the Irish

Want to be lucky this St. Patrick's Day? Follow this advice:

1. Find a four-leaf clover. 2. Wear green (so you don't get pinched). 3. Kiss the blarney stone. 4. Catch a Leprechaun if you can.

In honor of the festivities we leave you with this Irish blessing: May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go!

Irish Drinking Toast

"May the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.
May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent."