History of the South Amboy St. Patrick's Day Parade
The history of the South Amboy St Patrick’s Day Parade began in 1976. The original idea was that of Frank Conley, who was owner of the Monaghan House. The parade consisted of one bagpiper, the South Amboy Police, Fire and First Aid Squads and a small group of marchers representing the Frank Conley Association.
Two years later, in 1978, a group of parade supporters organized the South Amboy Irish American Association to continue the parade as an annual event. Fast-forward to 2007, the parade continued to grow and the present day website: www.southamboyparade.com was created. As the parade grew, so did the Committee, and was comprised of individuals from the Irish American Association, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and volunteers from South Amboy and neighboring towns.
This parade is one of the biggest events in South Amboy and has become one of the largest parades in the State of NJ, with more than 23 bands and over 2,000 marchers. Much of the success of the parade is due to the donations and generosity of local businesses, corporations and individual sponsors. As a result of these generous donations and fundraisers held by the Parade Committee, there is little cost to the City of South Amboy. A few of the annual fundraising events run by the Parade Committee are the “Tip-a-Pint Nights” held at local businesses in town and our “Grand Marshal’s Night” to recognize the parade honorees. The Parade Committee holds a 501c3 non-profit status.
Each member of the committee brings with them their own area of expertise and each has specific roles. We work together to organize a family friendly parade, always there for one another to pitch in. Our chairman, Mickey Gross, has been the driving force behind the parade. His dedication has been an inspiration to us all. While it is absolutely true that “Everyone is Irish” on St Patrick’s Day, the Parade Committee has evolved and now represents the diversity of the community it serves.