Thanks to all who made the 1999 St. Patrick's Day Parade such a great success.

The Weather Could Not Dampen Spirits...The Parade Marched On!

The second annual Carbon County St. Patrick's Day Parade sneaked in under the wire ahead of a late winter snow storm that blanketed the area with up to nine inches of snow. The day started off crisp, clear and bright, but by mid-day the skies started to darken. The threat of inclement weather could not keep the crowds at bay, with the county parking lot filled to capacity within an hour of the parade kickoff time. The sidewalks were packed in downtown Jim Thorpe. Official estimates put the size of the parade turnout in the thousands.

Parade Grand Marshal Francis Helferty could not attend the Parade due to illness. It was still Francis' day, and the Grand Marshals car proceeded down Broadway as a reminder to us all that Francis was with us in spirit. Steve Hannigan, Edward Crowley, Eileen McGinley, and Sharon Gillespie-Choley, served as Parade Aides to The Grand Marshal.

Carbon County Jail

Parade Committee Chairman Ron Sheehan gave the final signal and the Parade proceeded led by 1998 Grand Marshal Oscar McClafferty being chaufferred in style by Police Chief Barry Andrews. Following Oscar was the PA State Police Mounted Color Guard. The Camden County pipe and drum band wailed the bagpipes paving the way for the hometown Alec Campbell Division, and the Molly Maguire Division. The Parade paused at Immaculate Conception Church for a blessing by Monsignor Chizmar, and at the Old Jail for a wreath laying ceremony in honor of our AOH brothers executed there.

One of the great unforgetable moments of the Parade was Noel Behan's rendition of the Irish National Anthem, in Gaelic, with chorus sung by the assembled Hibernians, followed by the Star Spangled Banner sung by everyone downtown. The verses bounced off the downtown buildings, and was very moving.

The Parade crowds were simply outstanding with many house parties in full swing as the Parade wound down Broadway. There was a particularly large and vibrant crowd at the McGinley family house party.

Blue Ridge Cable Channel 13 taped the Parade this year, sponsored by the Jim Thorpe National Bank. The Parade was televised via tape delay on Sunday evening at 6:30 PM, with a rebroadcast 8:00 PM St. Patrick's Day. Bill McGinley along with Marie Johns provided the commentary for the parade. The Division again filmed the Parade, and videos will be available. Stay tuned.

Congressman Paul Kanjorski and other political dignitaries including the County Commissioners, and Jim Thorpe Boro Council proudly marched. PA State Representative Keith McCall, our AOH brother, marched with the Alec Campbell Division. Jim Thorpe Mayor Dennis Gallagher, also our Division brother, could not contain his pride.

Proceeds from the sale of our sharp looking Parade tee shirts, as well as the free will offering at the parking lot, will benefit Project Children here in Carbon County. Michael O'Donnell has done a fine job with this project.

Thanks to all who have worked so hard to bring a Parade to our community that we can all be proud of to honor the great St. Patrick!

Note: Ron Sheehan can be contacted at: AOH Parade Committee, PO Box 282, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229 -or- send an e-mail.

Pottsville Parade

The Alec Campbell, Mauch Chunk Division proudly defended its marching trophy at the Pottsville St. Patrick's Parade, Saturday March 13, 1999. Our Division color guard and marchers looked sharp as we paraded in support our brothers in Schuylkill County. The parade was sponsored by the AOH JFK Division 2. Our Division received favorable remarks throughout the day with a lot of interest expressed in our parade. A social followed the parade, with fine Irish music. Our Division was represented well.

1999 St. Patrick's Day Jim Thorpe, PA

JFK DivisionTroop 555
Bob, Ri and JimDave and Patty
Ed, Jim and HughJT's Bar Scene

Pottsville St Patrick's Day Parade March 13, 1999

JFK DivisionGirardville Division
Scott and LorettaNancy and John

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Disclaimer: "The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, or its National Board of Directors".
Copyright © 1998, 1999 AOH Mauch Chunk Division of Jim Thorpe PA - Carbon Co. Div. #1 - All Rights Reserved