Announcing The Hoboken Irish Cultural Festival

Craic agus Ceol (Good Times & Great Music) are coming to Hoboken’s Sinatra Park. Céad Míle Fáilte (One Hundred-Thousand Welcomes).

For the past 25 years, on the first Saturday in March (aka Parade Day), Hoboken has been known to take full advantage of it’s Guinness-record-holding number of bars per square mile. Despite what many may think though, the parade and the amateurish animals pissing on the streets never had anything to do with one another.

The parade was meant to be a celebration of Irish-American culture and a day for families to celebrate together. In it’s early days, it proved to be a truly positive factor that brought people into Hoboken who otherwise avoided coming here. The unfortunate side effect of Parade Day’s popularity among childish binge drinkers has been the growing shitshow of shame many now think of as the norm.

And, over the last few years, things spiraled down further into a disgusting, drunken riot of out-of-town assholes. Now there were real concerns for public safety. People hurling objects from rooftops. Fights breaking out in the streets. Sexual assault. Broken glass and various bodily fluids littering stoops and sidewalks.

The situation had gotten so bad that the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee found it necessary to cancel this year’s parade citing the city’s inability to keep the peace. Mayor Zimmer tried to appease the committee by proposing a new date in the middle of the week. Unfortunately, many of the parade participants have jobs or go to school, making the new parade schedule was unacceptable. So the 26th Parade Day was not to be.

This ongoing feud has fueled different events around town. One that should prove to bring back the original spirit of Parade Day is The Hoboken Irish Cultural Festival which will be held on Wednesday March 14, 2012 from 4PM-10PM in Sinatra Park.

The event will kick-off with demonstration of the Gaelic sport of Hurling by the Hoboken Guards, the city’s GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) affiliated hurling squad—now entering their second season. Following the scrimmage, a youth clinic will be held for anyone interested in learning more about this fast-paced Irish pastime.

Traditional Irish Step Dancers will join the festivities from The Garden Street School of the Performing Arts (1018 Washington Street, 201-683-7078).

Music will start with an acoustic set from Hoboken Irish-American artist Will O’Connor. Dublin’s George Murphy later takes the stage, delivering a gritty set of traditional Irish seisún music. Finally, New Jersey’s Paddy and the Pale Boys take the stage, performing their own hard-charging, uniquely styled Irish-American sound.

The Hoboken Irish Cultural Festival is free to get in and proceeds from concession sales will be donated to The Hoboken Shelter and Hoboken American Legion Post 107.

See ya there! RSVP on Facebook.

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