85TH NEWARK ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Announces Michael D. Byrne As Grand Marshal; Eileen Mcginley Hannaford As Deputy Grand Marshal
New Jersey’s First and Finest St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Celebrate Its 85th Year on Friday, March 13, 2020
NEWARK, NJ (February 13, 2020) – St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Inc., organizers of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the first and finest Irish heritage celebration of its kind, has tapped Michael D. Byrne, its past General Chairman, as Grand Marshal and Eileen McGinley Hannaford, as Deputy Grand Marshal, to lead the parade along the emerald line in its 85th year. Additionally, the parade will be dedicated to the late Francis J. “Frank” Coyne, a longtime resident of West Caldwell.
The parade will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020. Reviewing stand ceremonies will begin promptly at 12:00 PM, followed by the official parade kick-off at 1:00 PM. The parade will commence on Mulberry Street at the Prudential Center, making its way past the Gateway Complex, to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, passing Military Park on Center Street, to Central Avenue leading up to St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral and ending in front of the Newark Museum and Washington Park.
“We are honored to have our Grand Marshal, Michael D. Byrne, and Deputy Grand Marshal, Eileen McGinley Hannaford, lead this historic celebration of Irish culture through the streets of Newark in its 85th year,” said Jack Doll, General Chairman, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Inc. “Newark was the epicenter of Irish-American life in New Jersey as a high concentration settled here after passing through Ellis Island. As they continued to move throughout the state, parades were established in other towns – all of them an offshoot of Newark. We are proud of our rich parade history and invite Irish-Americans from across New Jersey to celebrate this important tradition while honoring the life and work of Frank Coyne, to whom this year’s celebration is dedicated.”
Grand Marshal, Michael D. Byrne, a lifelong Montclair resident, previously served as General Chairman of the parade for nine years. During that time, he worked to elevate participation in the parade by establishing the annual Newark Saint Patrick’s Day High School Band Competition, and its Art and Essay contests for students of the Archdiocese of Newark. Byrne is the founder of Pilgrim Strategies, a political consulting group, is the president of the 100 Club of Montclair and is an active member of numerous organizations including the Thomas Aquinas College Board of Regents, the Montclair Fourth of July Parade Committee, the Montclair Republican Club and the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh in West Orange. He is also a board member of both the Saint Patrick’s Guard of Honor and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges, which named him “Young Irishman of the Year” in 2014.
Deputy Grand Marshal, Eileen McGinley Hannaford, is the president and executive chairman of the Kevin J. Hannaford, Sr. Foundation, Inc., a non-profit, charitable organization helping bereaved children pursue educational opportunities. Born in Livingston, NJ, Eileen grew up in North Caldwell and Fairfield before moving to Hoboken, NJ, where she reconnected with her college friend Kevin Hannaford, whom she later married after graduating from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. After Kevin passed during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Eileen established the Kevin J. Hannaford, Sr. Foundation, Inc., which aims to honor Kevin’s memory by empowering children in the community to meet their educational needs through financial gifts. Eileen is an active member of the Advisory Board of Director for Tuesday’s Children, the American Irish Historical Society and a Eucharistic Minister at Saint James Church in Basking Ridge. Her two children, Patrick and Kevin, who live with her in Basking Ridge, are both graduates of Seton Hall Preparatory School and now attend Fordham University and Bucknell University, respectively.
Additionally, the 85th Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade is dedicated to the late Francis J. “Frank” Coyne, who hailed from County Galway, Ireland and made his first American home in Newark, NJ. Frank, who married his wife Eileen in Newark in 1964, was committed to the future of his five children, and prioritized their education above all else. He often said that one of his greatest achievements was to have seen all of his children graduate college. For more than 50 years, Frank was a tireless worker, and drew great pride in being someone who lived and worked his entire life in Essex County. This dedication of the Newark St. Patrick’s Day Parade truly brings his life full circle, as he spent his entire professional career working in Newark, including more than 40 years as a Chief Engineer on Broad Street itself, where the parade route runs. A veteran of this parade, having marched in or attended it countless times, this dedication represents a homecoming. A father to five, a grandfather to eight, and truly a friend to all, Frank’s love and laughter were truly limitless and unforgettable to those blessed to know him.
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