Pearl River Parade is Back This Sunday

County Kerry Pipes & Drums (Woodlawn, Bronx) Photo credit: Tom Walsh

After two years on hiatus, Pearl River’s biggest celebration of the year is back on! The second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, Pearl River’s annual celebration will happen on March 20, the first day of Spring, and will mark the 58th anniversary of the celebration. The event normally draws thousands of visitors to the village and is a huge boon both main street businesses and coped up residents.

Terresa Kenny, the supervisor of Orangetown, is among the many residents excited to celebrate after the 2020 parade, her first year in office, was canceled; Kenny and this years honorees Grand Marshal Frank (McDonagh) and parade Commander Sergeant Deirdre Smith-Withers, have waited two years to participate in the village’s most popular tradition. Pearl River’s Ancient Order of Hibernians are excited to resume the festivities as well, their president John McGowan telling the Journal News, “we’re getting ready for our St. Patrick’s season in the proper way, anticipating the parade. It’s been surreal.”

The return of the parade is no doubt a welcome sign of normalcy and a chance for celebration in Pearl River, though the occasion is somewhat bittersweet for The Order of Hibernians, who lost several members during the pandemic. Richard Lenihan, a member of the Pearl River AOH, and retired NYPD officer was among those who passed away. Lenihan was going to be recognized as an aide to the Grand Marshal during the 2020 parade; for the 2022 parade, Lenihan’s son, Patrick, will march in his place.

“This year’s parade is a celebration of moving forward and hope, but it’s also a remembrance for those we lost,” McGowan said.

The 2022 St Patrick’s Day parade will begin 1:30 pm and will no doubt kick of a day of festivities as Rockland celebrates a return to public celebrations.