Who We Are
Fourteen years ago, in 2003, two men were discussing as they often did, how great it would be to have St. Patrick’s Day Parade come back to Sussex County. They were John Sullivan of Sullivan’s Gaslight Inn and Dennis Harrington, a local fellow who was very involved in his community, and loved all things Irish.
Dennis came home that evening mentioned the conversation to the family and the daughters said ” Just DO IT!” And so the light was lite and he started the ball rolling with John.
Of course, nothing is that easy, hard work, tireless meetings, gathering others who would be interested and of course how to start. It took a year and many times in that first year they almost gave up. Many battles were won to make this dream become a reality.
But it happened, and in 2004, the first Parade of SC St.Patrick’s day Committee stepped off on a brutally cold morning. Lining up in Lake Mohawk and then the band started and the parade took off. A large group of people gathered in the square and clapped and cheered as if we were as big as the NYC parade. We were as proud as we could be, although small in numbers, we were the Sussex County St.Patrick’s Day Parade.
The second year we moved to Franklin. And we noticed we had a few more participants and a Bagpipe band. Success!
Year three brought us to Newton, and a match that fit us like a glove. A town with sidewalks for viewers, parking for all and it is here where we have seen the growth and those marhcers and those viewing the parade. We have been lucky, Luck of the Irish, I am sure, and blessed with weather that allows us to parade on time even with snow at the bitter end, it was not enough to sideline us. We have been very lucky, indeed.
It was from these humble beginings, with many of the original parade committee still with us, we have been able to provide the parade every year. Here we are getting ready for the 2014 parade our eleventh year! Bigger? yes. more bands, more participants, more spectactors.
But the joy of being part of this wonderful organization can never be better than the first time. We love being Irish, sharing being Irish, if even for the one day. We hope we make Sussex County Community and beyond as happy and proud, as we are on the day of the parade.
It is just the beginning, I am sure.
Thank you Sussex County
written by a Proud Irish Lass
A Growing Community
We are proud to say we have grown in both our ranks as well as the size of parade and the on lookers alike. We started with our Lone Piper, young Robbie Henry who was just starting Pope John HS. Time has passed as our Lone Piper, Robbie is now a US Marine. Proud to say we knew him so long ago and proud of who he has become as a man.
We also have nearly 1000 participants in our parade and we do not have any fee to be a marcher, just an application form.
We have the great fortune to have had success in our fundraisers, which have allowed us to donate to the Grand Marshals Chosen Charities. Each year we have been able to make a contribution to a non profit organization in Sussex County. We hope to continue bringing the Irish culture, traditions and history to Sussex County. We have a wealth of talent in this area and surrounding counties, many who have shared their voice, dance and musical talents with our Committee. I believe we have only begun to tap into that talent.
We also have been fortunate to have wonderful, community mined people as our Grand Marshals. Sussex County is our home and we hope to be able to continue bringing our events and parade to our county. With the support of local Businesses & Corporations as sponsors and all the people who come out to our fundraisers each year, we will continue and hopefully grow even more.