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Bay Ridge Saint Patrick's Day Parade Moving to Third Avenue in 2013

Third Avenue says "cead mile failte" to 2013 Saint Patrick's Parade

Brooklyn Daily
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Saint Patrick’s Day parade revelers will be sportin’ the green on Third Avenue instead of Fifth Avenue next year as march organizers follow a new route set by the annual Norwegian Constitution Day Parade.

Parade organizers say shrinking crowds and lack of support from Fifth Avenue merchants — coupled with the fact that the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade switched from Fifth to Third avenues earlier this year — made the decision to move the show of Irish pride, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013, a no brainer.

“The only alternative was to move the parade to Third Avenue in an effort to garner strong support and keep a Bay Ridge tradition alive,” said parade committee president Frankie Marra.“

It was becoming increasingly more difficult to raise the funds needed to keep the parade viable.”

Third Avenue merchants said they were happy to host the parade, which is scheduled for March 24.

“It’s a great institution,” said Third Avenue Merchants president Robert Howe, an Irish-American who was a parade grand marshal in 1997.

The Norwegian-American 17th of May Committee of Greater New York, which holds the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade each year in Bay Ridge to celebrate Norway’s separation from Sweden, decided to move to Third Avenue after receiving an abysmal parade turnout in 2011.

“We didn’t get enough people,” says Kenneth Johnson, a committee co-chairman and lodge president of the local chapter of the Sons of Norway.

Fifth Avenue has been hit with a spreading plague of empty storefronts that has claimed some 30 local businesses in recent years, civic leaders say.

Organizers say next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade is expected to start at Saint Patrick’s Church at the corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue, then wend its way down Marine Avenue to Third Avenue, where it will continue toward 68th Street.

Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade at Saint Patrick’s Church [Corner of 95th Street and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge] March 24, 2013.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at

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Reader Feedback

Jaded from Bay Ridge says:
It's a movement by a spiteful, egotistic, blowhard who thinks he's all powerful in the BR community, and who just happens to have had a run in with a female leader of the Arab community 2 years ago. Hold a grudge much?
Sept. 12, 2012, 4:26 pm
Eddie from Bay Ridge says:
If crowds are shrinking don't blame 5th - because if Ridgers in general were that into this they'd manage to get there, just as they do for the 5th Ave. street fair and anything else. Also, this isn't a grassroots "tradition" - it was a business-centric creation and has been over-dependent on $ from stores.

Maybe if you donated enough these B.R. parades would reroute themselves - again - and circle your house for three hours.
Sept. 14, 2012, 1:13 am
Dollface from Bay Ridge says:
I'd like to see this parade and the many other "this is my native culture" parades stop. Get over yourselves and your past. Live in the now.
Sept. 14, 2012, 2:29 pm
TOM from BAY RIDGE says:
Hey by the way Bay Ridge especially the Northern Part of Bay Ridge from about 78th street north has turned into Beiruit. There is not much Irish left and its sad. Last year seeing Arabs march in an Irish parade made me want to puke. I guess 3rd ave is a little better than 5th ave aka Arab central.
Oct. 8, 2012, 11:06 am
JACK from BAY RIDGE says:
I also wonder about the Late Spring 5th Ave Fair. Will that be moved from 5th Ave to 3rd Ave due to lack of support. I agree with Tom's comment that Northern Bay Ridge is turning into Beiruit. Is the date the same Mar 24 or has it been changed. Finally please ban Arabs from marching in an Irish Parade. They can watch if they want. No objection there.
Jan. 30, 2013, 12:54 pm
allan226-94th st from the ridge says:
the thought that should be addressed is: does the neighborhood feel Irish on St. Patty's Day or not. If so - let every one party as they have in Manhattan for decades. I'm a Squarehead and look forward to St. Patty's for the food and fun. My stepdaughter takes Irish Stepdance lessons and performs in compition. Is she Irish??? Only about 25%..... I'll bet she can out step most 100% IRISH BLOOD LINE BROOKLYNITES.. So - get over the drama and have fun!!
Feb. 20, 2013, 7:31 pm
Bandie from Bay Ridge says:
Having been in the FHHS marching band for all of high school, I got to see a lot of parade turn-outs over the years. Bay Ridge has changed a lot. We still have St.Patricks Day parades and Norweigen parades despiet the fact that a lot of our Irish and/or Norweigens either moved out of Bay Ridge or died here and their families left.

Still, it's always fun to perform in a parade and have parades. I'd like to see less of the "My heritage cannot be celebrated by other cultures" drama, and see everyone go and have fun. In our band, we had a whole mix of kids, seldom few (including myself) were Irish or Norweigen. We still had fun.
March 16, 2013, 10:49 am
TOM from BAY RIDGE says:
It was weird to see the Bay Ridge St Patrick's day parade on 3rd Avenue this year. At least there are more Irish there than on 5th Avenue which turned into Beiruit with all of the Arabs. I was very upset that the Bay Ridge Arab Association was allowed to march in an Irish parade. I was outside Yellowhook and I yelled out go hey Arabs go march in your own parade and get out of ours. I also yelled out other things that I can't write here. I was even madder that people in the crowd were not agreeing with me. The crowd just looked at them and said nothing. The Bay Ridge I remember back in the 80's and 90's would have thrown eggs and every other thing at them. One father who was Irish yelled at me telling me that kids are around. I think that he lost his mind completely. Only the old man understood me.
March 28, 2013, 11:31 am

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