By Rob Anthes
For the fourth year, Mercer County residents will not have to travel far should they wish to attend more than one St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The area once again has three parades marking the annual celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. The festivities start in Hamilton before moving to Robbinsville and Trenton a week later. Then, of course, there’s St. Patrick’s Day itself, observed on March 17—a Monday this year.
The Hamilton parade kicks off the area’s St. Patrick’s season a week before the holiday, March 8 at 1 p.m.
The parade begins at the Nottingham Fire House, located at 200 Mercer St., and heads toward Nottingham Way. It takes a right onto Nottingham Way, following the road for a mile before ending at Hoover Avenue.
This year’s grand marshal is Vince McKelvey, president of the Trenton Ancient Order of Hibernians Monsignor Crean Division.
For more information, go online to hamiltonparade.com.
Revelers have a choice to make the next Saturday, March 15. The parades in Robbinsville and Trenton take place on the same day, at the same time.
The 5th Robbinsville St. Patrick’s Day parade offers a full day of events.
At 8:30 a.m., there will be a mass at St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church, on Nottingham Way in Hamilton Square. Then, the festivities move to Robbinsville, with 12:30 p.m. opening ceremonies at the parade’s starting point, the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Union Street.
The parade begins at 1 p.m., heading north on Washington Boulevard for 1/4 mile before turning right onto North Street. The route then goes through the Town Center neighborhood, following North Street until Newton Boulevard, then Newton right onto Lake Drive East, and Lake Drive East left onto Union Street. The parade will take Union Street for 1/3 mile, ending at the intersection of Union Street and Burnet Crescent. After the parade, there will be an after-party at Centro Grille, in Washington Town Center, at the intersection of Route 33 and Robbinsville-Edinburgh Road.
Parking for the parade is available at One Washington Blvd., and at St. Gregory the Great Church. There will be little or no parking available in Foxmoor or at Town Center, according to the parade’s website.
Parade grand marshal is Tom Lee, a Robbinsville resident and veteran of both the U.S. Navy and Army. Lee lost his right leg in Iraq in 2007 when an explosive device hit his vehicle. In late 2012, he attempted a triathlon, and has since won several championships in the event. He hopes to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.
Irish Person of the Year is Paul Kerris, the co-owner of Windsor Farm.
For more information, go online to robbinsvilleirish.com.
Meanwhile, the Trenton St. Patrick’s Day parade returns to its usual time, a year after a wedding forced the event to be pushed to a morning start.
The event opens March 15 at 12:30 p.m. with a ceremony at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church on South Olden Avenue.
Then, at 1 p.m., the parade starts, heading from St. Anthony’s across the Hamilton border into Trenton, and on to Hamilton Avenue and the parade reviewing stand at Columbus Park. It’s the same route the parade has taken for decades. The parade will feature floats, mummers, pipe bands, representatives from the Trenton professional sports teams and members of local community groups.
For more information, go online to merceririshfest.com, or call parade coordinator Brian McGreevy at (609) 510-3920.