Dublin up! Two St. Patrick’s Day parades go head-to-head

Dublin up! Two St. Patrick’s Day parades go head-to-head
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

St. Paddy’s Day partiers are not seeing double — there are two parades on the same day!

Both of Brooklyn’s Saint Patrick’s Day parades will march on the same day this year, on Sunday, March 20 at 1 pm. So Irish ramblers will have to choose between the borough’s oldest parade in Park Slope — or its biggest parade, in Bay Ridge.

The latter, which has steadily grown over the years, is the culmination of years of work and is not to be missed, said its lead organizer.

“I had two goals when I took over five years ago — to make it the biggest possible and to incorporate a scholarship for Catholic school students and we’ve done both,” parade committee president Frankie Marra said. “If it’s a nice sunny day, you don’t get a better atmosphere.”

Grand Marshal James B. McHugh, a senior vice-president of Signature Bank, will lead the Bay Ridge parade along 30 blocks of Third Avenue, from Marine Avenue at the southern tip of the neighborhoood to 67th Street, with a review stand on 77th Street.

Over a dozen marching bands, including the fire and police department’s pipe and drum bands, will march in the parade alongside floats from local businesses and organizations.

Fifteen bars along the route will serve as “official headquarters,” where Paddy’s partiers can get information about the bands and floats in the parade and buy raffle tickets, which fund tuition scholarships for 10 incoming local Catholic high school students.

In Park Slope, organizers of the 41-year-old Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Day Parade parade will hold a “re-dedication ceremony” for the heroes and victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, shortly before the march sets off from Bartel-Pritchard Square. The Square, at the corner of Prospect Park West and 15th Street, is the start and end point of the parade, and the location of its reviewing stand.

Parade Grand Marshal Mary Hogan, the national president of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, will lead the parade in a large loop from the Bartel–Pritchard Square to Seventh Avenue, north to Garfield Place, and then back down Prospect Park West to the square.

Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade [Starts at Marine and Third avenues in Bay Ridge, www.bayridgestpatricksday.com, (917) 975–5691]. March 20 at 1 pm.

Brooklyn Saint Patrick’s Day Parade (Starts at Prospect Park West and 15th Street in Park Slope, www.brooklynstpatricksparade.com). March 20 at 1 pm.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.