Posted on January 17, 2012

No Parade in Hoboken to Celebrate St. Patrick’s

James Barron, New York Times, January 13, 2012

There will not be a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Hoboken, N.J., this year, but organizers say they may go elsewhere to march.

The private committee that organizes the parade canceled the 1.1-mile-long march because the mayor, Dawn Zimmer, wanted it held on a weekday, not a Saturday. It had been planned for March 3.

Last year the police arrested 34 people after the parade, and two women told the authorities that they were sexually assaulted.

Many of the charges involved punching police officers. Some involved vandalism — breaking a screen window with a bat, for example. In another instance, partiers on a balcony threw a flower pot on firefighters answering a call about a backyard blaze.

Mayor Zimmer said one woman noted that a frustrated partygoer smashed the door of her building when he could not get in. “She said it had survived the riots in Hoboken decades ago, but it did not survive Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day,” Ms. Zimmer said. “The aftermath of the parade has been a disaster. It was out of hand.”

For 25 years, the parade stepped off on the first Saturday in March, a day the parade organizers settled on to accommodate bagpipers and bands with other commitments closer to March 17. Bill Coughlin, a spokesman for the parade committee, said the performers would be unavailable on a weekday. “The vast majority, these are people with regular jobs” who take time off only for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan, he said.