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United Irish 50th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade Sun. Mar. 10, 2024

Mar 03, 2024
United Irish St Patrick's Day Parade Harrison NJ

The United Irish of West Hudson is set to commemorate a significant milestone with its 50th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, March 10, 2024. The grand event will embark from in front of the Harrison Town Hall, located at 318 Harrison Avenue, at 1 p.m. and will proudly proceed north up Frank E. Rodgers Blvd., passing through a portion of East Newark before going up Kearny Avenue concluding in front of the Kearny Town Hall at a dedicated reviewing stand.

This landmark anniversary celebrates the parade's inception in 1974, marking half a century of cultural pride, community spirit, and festive celebration. According to Harrison Weather Center’s Meterologist Anthony “Tony” Mondaro, there is a possibility of rain and even snow for Sunday’s Parade but Tony knows that the Luck of the Irish may have the Parade kick off with neither.  The United Irish was the first organization to hold a Parade after Covid it was very cold that day and that did not stop the Parade. We hope however that the rain and/or snow hold off until the Parade is over.

This year's parade holds special significance as it honors Grand Marshal William W. Dow Jr., alongside Deputy Grand Marshals Stanley "Billy" Titterington and Gloria O'Reilly Spence, three individuals whose profound contributions to the community embody the spirit of service and dedication.

Grand Marshal William W. Dow Jr.: A Lifetime of Compassion and Leadership

William W. Dow Jr., known to many as Bill, is a figure synonymous with dedication, service, and community spirit in Kearny, New Jersey. His journey of service was seeded in his early years, deeply influenced by his family's active involvement in St. Cecilia Church and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The early loss of his father, a dedicated veteran and community servant, instilled in Bill a profound sense of the importance of community support and the impact of loss. Raised by his mother, Florence, and his grandfather, "Red" Hawkins, Bill was enveloped in a nurturing environment that championed the values of solidarity and care.

Bill's commitment to volunteerism began in his teenage years, marked by his involvement with the Special Olympics and special-needs children, fostering a lifelong passion for helping those in need. His dedication flourished within the Kearny Elks, where he championed the causes of special children and veterans, rallying the community to support these vital initiatives. Bill's leadership within the Elks has seen him serve in nearly every capacity, notably impacting areas such as Kearny Little League, drug awareness, and veteran support. His efforts to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and lupus, inspired by personal loss, have touched countless lives.

Bill's philosophy of teamwork and community engagement has led to significant contributions to Kearny, from feeding needy families during Thanksgiving to supporting the fight against the opioid epidemic through education and awareness programs. Recognized for his tireless volunteerism, Bill was honored as the New Jersey State Elks Association Veteran Volunteer of the Year and VFW Post 1302 Citizen of the Year. Married to Ann, with whom he shares three children and a grandchild, Bill's family life mirrors his public ethos of service and generosity, leaving an indelible mark on Kearny.

Deputy Grand Marshal Gloria O'Reilly Spence: A Lifetime of Service and Advocacy

Gloria O'Reilly Spence's narrative is one of unwavering commitment to community service and advocacy. Born and raised in Newark and Maplewood, Gloria's move to Kearny in 1968 marked the beginning of a lifelong dedication to her community. Her early involvement with the Junior Woman’s Club of Arlington laid the foundation for a series of leadership roles that significantly impacted Kearny and beyond. From spearheading fundraising efforts for medical research to advocating for the implementation of 911 services, Gloria's contributions have been both varied and profound.

Gloria's advocacy extended to environmental causes, notably her efforts to halt ocean dumping, and her commitment to supporting local businesses through her push for state bids to small companies. Her volunteerism spans decades, with significant roles in the West Hudson Arts & Theater Co., and Pathways to Independence, where she has been a driving force behind their annual Walkathon since 2020. Gloria's retirement from River Terminal has not slowed her pace; she remains a dedicated volunteer and advocate for Kearny, enriching the lives of its residents alongside her husband, Robert, and their two children.

Deputy Grand Marshal Stanley "Billy" Titterington: A Legacy of Service and Cultural Preservation

Stanley "Billy" Titterington's life story is a testament to the power of resilience, community service, and cultural heritage. Born to parents who emigrated from Belfast to escape the troubles in Northern Ireland, Stanley's upbringing in Kearny was steeped in the values of hard work and community. His early employment at Em-Kay Scottish Butcher was not only a job but an education in the traditions and flavors of his ancestral home, which he later sought to preserve through his own business.

Stanley's decision to join the police force was catalyzed by a personal encounter with vandalism and an unsatisfactory response from local law enforcement. This moment of frustration sparked a commitment to public service that has defined his career. As a founding member of the Harrison Police Department's Emergency Response Team, Stanley has exemplified leadership and dedication to duty. His efforts to mentor younger officers and contribute to the community extend beyond his police work, with his shop serving as a hub for cultural preservation and community gathering.

Married to Michelle, with whom he shares two adult children, Stanley's personal and professional lives are deeply intertwined with his commitment to service, community, and heritage. His story is a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have on their community, through both their professional endeavors and personal passions.

These biographies not only celebrate the individual achievements of William W. Dow Jr., Gloria O'Reilly Spence, and Stanley "Billy" Titterington but also highlight their collective impact on the West Hudson community. Through their diverse paths of service, advocacy, and leadership, they exemplify the spirit of community engagement and the profound difference that dedicated individuals can make in the lives of many.

As the United Irish prepares to celebrate this historic parade, the community is invited to join in honoring the traditions, achievements, and enduring spirit of its honorees and participants. The 50th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade not only commemorates a rich history of cultural pride but also looks forward to a future of continued unity, service, and celebration in West Hudson.

San Xoan Bagpipe From Galicia Spain

Of Interest:

United Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade 2022

St. Patrick's Parade: San Xoan Pipe Band from Galicia Spain

St. Patrick's Parade: American Independence Riflemen Fire Muskets (video)

Diversity On Display: St. Patrick, Peruvian Parade & Harrison Fest


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