The Parade History
In 2018, we will be celebrating our milestone 25th Anniversary and we have come a very long way since our humble beginnings. The Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was the brain child of the late Gene Reilly, owner of the former Lief Erickson Pub on 5th Avenue. He wanted to share the Celtic culture and love of Irish Heritage. He believed there was a need and desire for this, and always room for one more parade in New York City.
The Parade has had the pleasure of honoring many notable Bay Ridgeittes, all who have brought their unique charm to the Parade. We have hosted countless numbers of Bands and Organizations, many of which have been with us since the beginning. The Parade hosts many activities throughout the year including trips to Citi Field, Irish Night on Shore Road, half-way to Saint Patrick’s Day parties, a Meet and Greet where the Grand Marshal and Deputies can all get better acquainted, the annual Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Dinner Dance along with a Ceremonial Mass and Breakfast on the morning of the Parade. We always march on the last Sunday in March, saving the best for the end of the season.
The Parade Committee has been fortunate to have dedicated leadership with Jack Malone, Jerry Callahan and in later years, Frankie Marra. Presently, the Parade is in the trusted hands of Linda Gallagher (President). Her energy, excitement and drive, along with new ideas and a change in venues has brought a new vitality to the Parade.
For a quarter of a century our parade has made it’s mark on the history of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In celebrating this milestone, our theme is “25 Years of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship”. We would like to THANK ALL OF YOU, the community, for your support for the past twenty-five years, and especially for the love, loyalty, and friendship you have shown us. We celebrate you today, tomorrow and always. We look forward to the next twenty-five years of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade!
Gene had realized the Parade would also help stimulate business and interest in the Bay Ridge community. As a man who preferred to work behind the scenes, he knew that the right man for the job was none other than Jack Malone, former proprietor of Peggy O’Neils in Bay Ridge.
Gene thought that the timing of the Parade should be around the Great Irish Fair, and he had his trusted friends Frank McKenna and Jim Healy plant the seed in Jack’s ear. Jack Malone helped assemble a committee of local activists including: Larry Morrish, Al O’Hagan and Marty Golden.
Many others rounded out the group including Gene, Mary Lawler, Kathy Reilly, Eammon Hamilton, Bill McNealy, Frank McKenna, Jim Healy, Mike Keegan and countless other members.
Senator Martin J. Golden (R,C) was elected to represent Brooklyn’s 22nd Senate District in 2002. The 22nd State Senate District includes the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend and parts of Sheepshead Bay, Borough Park and Midwood.
State Senator Marty Golden tried to bypass a traffic jam on Third Avenue in Brooklyn last night by having his chauffeur drive in a bike lane. When Brian Howald refused to vacate the bike lane to clear a path, Golden pulled out a parking placard, claimed he was a police officer, and threatened to take him to a precinct, Howald says. As Howald tried to get a picture of Golden in the passenger’s seat, he says the chauffeur drove against traffic and ran two red lights to get away.