One of my favorite events is back! The Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Parade will step off at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 13, 2022. I was glad to participate along with New Jersey 101.5 in the first Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Parade in 2014.

Asbury Park St. Patrick's Day Parade 2017
Credit: Chris Eannucci, Townsquare Media
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I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The enthusiasm of the crowd and the parade committee and the creativity of the participants make this one of my favorite events. I’ve watched the parade grow every year in participants, crowd size, and overall organization thanks to a group of volunteers who know how to please a crowd. I’ve also had the honor of being named Grand Marshal of the parade in 2017 and it was a wonderful experience.

Via Google Street View
Via Google Street View
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This year the Grand Marshal of the parade is John McGillion who was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and along with his wife Mary owned two bustling and very successful Asbury Park bars and restaurants Johnny Mac House of Spirits and Kim Marie’s Eat and Drink Away.

St Patrick's Day Parade - Asbury Park
Asbury Park St. Patrick's Day Parade, 2018 (Bill Doyle / Townsquare Media)
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Sadly John passed away in July of 2020 at the age of 78. In true Johnny Mac fashion, his spirit will live on because of the impact he had on Asbury Park and his passion to bring the city back to a destination enjoyed by so many. He was instrumental in getting the first parade off the ground.

 

Here is what Sammy Boyd, Vice President of the Parade committee, said about John McGillion:

"In that John is gone; we would like to have done this when he was still alive. He was a financial and spiritual supporter of our parade from day one and we thought it might be appropriate to have this parade in memory of him,”

John’s wife Mary said that John was very proud of his Irish heritage and loved the city of Asbury Park.

"I think it’s so fitting that he was selected as this year’s Grand Marshal. I enjoyed his company; I’ve enjoyed his establishments and was impressed with how he got things done."

Asbury Park is home to where music lives and in living true to that moniker there are a few outstanding events that will support the parade:

Asbury Park dubbed 2nd best US beach, Asbury construction 2018
Asbury Park dubbed 2nd best US beach (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)
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The Shamrock n Roll at The Wonderbar in Asbury Park will be held Sunday, February 27th from 2 to 9 pm and will feature several great bands including Bobby Bandiera, Bob Polding Band, and an appearance by the Monmouth County Police Fire Pipes and Drums. Tickets are only $20 and will be available at the door.

Via Google Street View
Via Google Street View
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The Grand Marshal Dinner at McLoone's Supper Club in Asbury Park will be held Thursday, March 10th from 6 to 9 pm. The event honors The 2022 Grand Marshal John McGillion posthumously along with other past Grand Marshals. I plan on being there along with other former Grand Marshals. The cost is $60 and includes dinner. Tickets are available at asburyparkstpatricksparade.com.

Bobby Bandiera - Townsquare Media
Bobby Bandiera - Townsquare Media
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The Parade After Party at the Wonderbar Sunday, March 13th at 3:00 pm. This event is a great after parade party featuring Bobby Bandiera and his band. I’ve been there for this event and this is a must. Bobby knows how to please a crowd. Tickets are only $15 and are available at the door.
Enjoy one of my favorite events. Make it a point to get down to Asbury Park on March 13th. For more info go to: asburyparkstpatricksparade.com

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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