RUMSON – It was a little pre-St. Patrick’s Day fun, food, music and a chance to raise a little additional money for the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade coming up this Sunday.
Organizers for the borough’s third annual parade, scheduled for 1 p.m. from Victory Park, held a fundraiser last Friday at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn, 132 East River Road, where those who donated $10 or more for the parade effort were treated to a buffet and the entire bar was entertained by the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch and the music of Bloody Callan Band, and its renditions of classic American rock and Celtic-influenced folk and rock numbers.
The parade’s board of trustees conducts a number of fundraisers over the year to cover the costs of the parade and to offer an annual donation to area charities.
This year’s recipients are Jason’s Dreams for Kids and Special People United to Ride (S.P.U.R.).
The parade costs about $25,000 to put on, to cover the cost of security, insurance and for the approximately 16 pipe and drum bands that march, said Karen Taylor-Burke, a board member who serves as the board’s treasurer.
“We try to keep the costs down,” Taylor-Burke explained. “That way there’s more for the charities.”
A fundraiser like last Friday’s is usually one of the smaller efforts; the board’s annual golf outing and the ad journal are the larger ones the board relies on, said Joseph Burke, Karen’s husband, who assists in the organizing efforts.
But, “It’s getting the word out, making people aware” of the parade, said Karen, about Friday’s fundraising event.
March 8’s parade is just one of nearly 20 annual parades in which the Atlantic Watch participates; everything from St. Patrick’s parades, to those for Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Columbus Day, said Linda Cooper, whose family has been involved for years and who used to perform with the group. The Atlantic Watch has been there for the last two. “This will be our third year,” she said, “and we love doing this parade.”
This parade route begins at the borough’s Victory Park, East River Road and Lafayette Street, and travels about a mile east on River Road to Molly Maguire’s.
Last year about 900 members of assorted scouting, public service and other groups joined step dancers and the bands as they marched. Borough police estimated about 7,000 spectators lined the route to watch.
– By John Burton
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