PEARL RIVER, N.Y. – It’s time to get your green on again in Pearl River.
The Rockland County hamlet will be the scene on Sunday, March 19, of what is said to be the biggest St. Patrick’s Day bash outside of New York City.
The event, sponsored by the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians, was launched in 1963 and has gotten exponentially more popular every year since.
Marchers step off at 1:30 p.m., rain or shine, at the Pfizer parking lot, onto East Crooked Hill Road in the Orangetown hamlet.
The parade route continues south onto North Middletown Road, turns west onto East Central Avenue, and then south onto South Main Street. It ends in the area of the Pearl River Post Office.
(Roads in the Pearl River area are subject to closure up to one hour before the parade starts, so drivers beware.)
This year’s Grand Marshal is Carmel Reilly, a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. She was named Hibernian of the Year in 2008 and received a Distinguished Service Award from Irish Northern Aid and Rockland G.A.A.
Her dad, Matt Reilly of Blauvelt, was Grand Marshal more than 40 years ago.
Named as Reilly’s aide was Helen Kilgallen Murphy, who has been in the parade since its inception.
Rockland’s district attorney, Thomas Zugibe, is the 2017 Hibernian of the Year. He is a longtime support of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Kay O’Grady and her daughter, Michelle O’Grady Worob, are sharing the title of Hibernian Businesswomen of the Year.
Kay O’Grady and her husband, Sean, are members of the Rockland Irish American Cultural Center in Blauvelt. They and their daughter have owned and operated Luigi O’Grady’s Deli and Catering in Pearl River to nearly two decades.
Commander of the county’s parade is Lt. Michael Shannon of the Orangetown Police Department. He has been with the police honor guard that escorts the parade’s Grand Marshal for 20 years.