Robbinsville shows its Irish pride on parade day

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to The Robbinsville Sun Tony Yodice, sporting a green mustache, gives the parade a gloved thumbs up.

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to The Robbinsville Sun
Tony Yodice, sporting a green mustache, gives the parade a gloved thumbs up.

The weather was brisk, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of thousands of spectators who turned out to enjoy the Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day parade featuring bagpipes, floats, Irish step-dancers and lots of community pride.

The sidewalks along the 1.25-mile parade route in Town Center on March 23 were lined with revelers sporting emerald hair, green face glitter, shamrock sunglasses, and feather boas matching the tricolor of the Irish flag. The crowds cheered for the “line of march” that included 64 different organizations, including four separate pipe and drum bands, and many community groups.

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to the Robbinsville Sun The step-dancers of Rince O’Chroi Irish Dance, who won the Best Dance Group award, perform on Union Street during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 23.

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to the Robbinsville Sun
The step-dancers of Rince O’Chroi Irish Dance, who won the Best Dance Group award, perform on Union Street during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 23.

The Robbinsville Irish Heritage Association, which started the annual parade tradition four years ago, honored Robbinsville tree farmer Greg McLaughlin as its Irish Person of the Year. McLaughlin and the parade’s grand marshal, Fire Chief Chuck Petty, were presented with official township proclamations from Mayor Dave Fried (sporting green hair for the occasion) and other municipal officials before the parade stepped off from Washington Boulevard.

The 2013 parade award winners and their categories were: Sweet Vita (Best Musical Expression); Robbinsville Hotrods (Best Theme); Bill’s Olde Tavern “Salute to Irish Immigration” (Best Float); Hamilton PAL Twirlers (Best Youth Group); BAPS (Best Civic Group); Barnegat Bay Pipe & Drums (Best Pipe Band); and Rince O’Chroi Irish Dance (Best Dance Group.)

Hundreds of people packed Centro Grille for the parade after-party that featured the Irish music of Bill O’Neal & Friends and a children’s area where the sale of green hair extensions and face glitter helped raise funds for Missy Ferrono and Tracy LaManna, two residents who battling cancer.

Photo courtesy of Robbinsville Township. From left: Greg McLaughlin, who was honored by the Robbinsville Irish Heritage Association as its 2013 Irishman of the Year, and Fire Chief Chuck Petty, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand marshal.

Photo courtesy of Robbinsville Township.
From left: Greg McLaughlin, who was honored by the Robbinsville Irish Heritage Association as its 2013 Irishman of the Year, and Fire Chief Chuck Petty, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade grand marshal.

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to the Robbinsville Sun The Allentown-Robbinsville Girl Scouts march in the Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Photo by Debra Bjorling/Special to the Robbinsville Sun
The Allentown-Robbinsville Girl Scouts march in the Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day parade.


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