Gerritsen Beach St. Paddy’s parade makes jubilant return

Bagpipers march down Gerritsen Avenue during the nabe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

After two long years of missing out, the Gerritsen Beach community finally got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the right way this past weekend, with a neighborhood parade on Saturday, March 26.

Getting festive!Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

The waterfront nabe in southern Brooklyn — home to a little over 5,000 residents — did not bring out the throngs of Guinness-chugging merrymakers that turned out to the larger parades in Park Slope on March 20 and Bay Ridge on March 27, but dozens of residents still showed up to the hyperlocal parade to celebrate Irish, Brooklyn, and Gerritsen Beach pride after missing the last two years due to COVID-19.

O’Malley’s Irish Dance Academy performed at the parade.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Locals Joan Parisi and Michael Gaffney served as grand marshals, and green-clad spectators watched performances by bagpipers and by the students of O’Malley’s Irish Dance Academy. Also marching along the parade route — which started on Whitney Avenue before sashaying down Gerritsen Avenue all the way to Seba Playground — were the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the NYPD’s 61st Precinct, the Gerritsen Beach Volunteer Fire Department, and Assemblymember Jaime Williams, among others.

After years of marchers doing the work for free, local resident and activist Jim Donovan organized a fundraiser this year to help pay bagpipers and dancers for their hard work. The GoFundMe has raised over $1,400 thus far, passing the $1,200 goal.

After the parade, attendees split to pack local bars to escape the cold and enjoy some brews and ceremonial corned beef and cabbage.