The Nutley Irish American Association’s 35th St. Patrick’s Parade steps off Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m., led by Grand Marshal John Kelly, after a 10 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s Church on Monsignor Owens Place.
Marchers will assemble in front of Holy Family Church on Brookline Ave. and proceed west along Harrison St., turn north on Franklin Ave. and end on Chestnut St. The reviewing stand will be in front of John Walker Middle School.
A post-parade party will follow at the Knights of Columbus hall, 150 Chestnut St., from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $20 by contacting Joe Milbauer at 973-626-4439 or at jmilbauer@ nutleyirish.com or at the door on the day of the parade for $25. The price for children ages 12 to 18 is $10. Younger children are admitted free. Deidre and Dave Hollywood are co-chairing the parade.
John Kelly, the principal owner of Shanrache Construction in Browns Mills and JK’s Boathouse in Belleville, has been an active member of the Nutley Crew Boosters for the past six years and with his support, the Boosters purchased several much-needed racing shells for the rowers.
“It is with all my heart that I would like to thank the trustees and officials of the NIAA for the privilege of being this year’s Grand Marshal,” Kelly said. “This is without a doubt one of the most humbling and unexpected experiences of my life.”
Kelly congratulated Deputy Grand Marshal Seamus Burke, Member of the Year Steve Tucholski, and Parade Queen Alicia Bennett.
Kelly’s grandparents, Joseph and Mary Kelly, immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland in the late 1800s and settled in North Arlington where they had three children, Agnes, William and James. Kelly’s dad, James, was a North Arlington fire chief and grocery store owner.
Later, the family moved to Belleville where young Kelly co-captained the high school crew team under coach Sam Giufridda. After graduation, he founded a construction business while attending William Paterson University part-time.
In 1979, he moved to Nutley where he continues to live with his wife Kathy and daughters Shannon and Rachel, both of whom have crewed for Nutley’s team.
Seamus Burke was born in the village of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland, the second in a family of five children. Burke credits the “exceptional values” of his parents, Tom and Ann, who “taught us never to forget who we were or where we came from.” At the age of 18, he came to New Jersey for a summer vacation and ended up staying. For the past 17 years, he’s worked in the hardwood flooring business with some “fellow Mayo men.” He now works for Piermount Ironworks, run by Pat Kelly and Dave Finucane. He and his wife Leslie are the proud parents of 5-year-old daughter Ryann Rose.
Steve Tucholski’s great grandparents James Burke and Delia Irwin were Irish natives: James was from Dublin and Delia, from Castlerea in County Roscommon. They met in the U.S. and settled in Jersey City where Steve was born. After spending time in Liverpool, N.Y., Steve moved to Nutley 17 years ago. He’s worked for DCI Metro, an architectural door, frame and door hardware business and he’s coached Nutley youth sports for 13 years. For the past three years, he has co-chaired a charity softball game to raise funds for Nutley Special Young Adults. He and his wife Rhonda have three children, Dominic, Maxwell and Samantha.
Alicia Bennett’s mother, Anne, was born in Dublin and moved to the U.S. after marrying Michael Bennett in 1978. Her paternal grandfather came from County Westmeath and his mother lived in County Cork for 13 years. Alicia has “fond memories of summers in Ireland” while visiting relatives in Dublin and “enjoying country life with family in Monaghan.” Since age 5, Alicia has been an Irish step dancer and performed at New York’s Radio City Music Hall with Irish tenor Frank Patterson and on the Norwegian Cruise Line as part of the Irish entertainment. In 2009 Alicia earned an M.S. degree in communication disorders from William Paterson University and is now a speech and language pathologist with the Bergen County Special Services and Sunny Days Early Intervention Services.
Alicia is a Lector at the 8 a.m. Mass at Holy Family Church in Nutley where she coordinates a parish project that raises funds for Covenant House. She also volunteers for the Nutley Jaycees’ fundraising for March of Dimes and is a member of the Nutley Irish American Alliance.