Members of the Nassau County Firefighters Emerald Society marched.

Irish American Society Hosts 74th Successful St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Irish eyes were smiling when the sun shined bright on the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Mineola on Saturday, March 3.

The Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, Inc. organized the event, and the enthusiastic crowd sporting green shirts proved it was an enormous success.

“We have 15 different committees and over 100 volunteers who help put this parade together,” said Virginia Clark, an aide selected by the parade board. “It’s a lot of work but we really have a great group of people at the center who make the entire process seamless and enjoyable.”

Planning for the parade began back in August and the Irish American Society worked closely with the Nassau County Police Department, the Village of Mineola, Mineola Auxiliary Police, and the Mineola Fire Department. Everybody worked together to make the march down Mineola Blvd and Jericho Tpke possible for the 74th consecutive year.

“This year’s parade was our largest yet. We had over sixty units marching,” said Clark.

Marching bands, bagpipes, Irish societies, law enforcement, and many more proud Irish folks made their way across Mineola over the mile-long parade stretch.

Eileen Cronin, a member of the Irish American Society who has been a part of the parade on several occasions, was featured in a 1969 Mercury Comet convertible this year.

“It was just great being a part of the parade this year and sitting up there in front of everyone. It’s such a good time of year and I just love the Irish music,” said Cronin.

The parade was greeted by giant Irish and American flags flown side-by-side at the finish line, thanks to local fire department trucks.

The party continued at the Irish American Center with performances by The Mike Clarke Band and The Donny Golden School of Irish Dance. The kitchen was open to the public, serving hot dogs, burgers, fries, and of course, corned beef sandwiches!

St. Patrick’s festivities will continue at the center on March 16 following the New York City parade.

“It is more than just one day, it’s the entire season where we can embrace our Irish culture and celebrate with friends and family together,” said Clark.

“You know, you don’t have to be Irish to have a great time on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Cronin.

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