People in Eastchester are gearing up for today's St. Patrick's Day Parade. This year will be the ninth anniversary of the event. The parade is being organized by the Eastchester Irish American Social Club and Patch is one of the sponsors.
The grand marshal of the event will be one of the men who helped spearhead the first Eastchester St. Patrick's Day Parade, David Flannery. Flannery spoke about one of the reasons behind the founding of the parade.
“I was seeing an influx of Irish people and I wanted to demonstrate our presence here,” said Flannery.
Flannery came to the U.S. in 1985 from Ireland. These days, he and his wife, Annmarie, are the proud parents of their three boys, David, Jack and Jimmy. He owns a hardware store in the Bronx and is also a contractor. Flannery is also an assistant scout master for Eastchester Boy Scout Troop 353.
This year's parade honorees will be Jean McCluskey and Brenda Travers. McClusky moved here from Ireland in 1978. She is currently the marketing director for the Irish Tourism Board. McCluskey says she is very proud of the fact that she will be an honoree at the parade.
“It’s nice to be recognized by people of your own culture in a foreign country," said McCluskey.
Co-honoree Brenda Travers came to Eastchester in 1987 from Limerick, Ireland. Travers says it's important to recognize one's heritage.
“I joined because I was looking to share culture with other Irish people and wanted to raise my kids with heritage” said Travers.
The local police and fire departments will be marching in the parade, along with students, ten pipe bands, veterans groups, seven marching bands and other organizations.
The parade begins at 3 p.m. today. It kicks off at Immaculate Conception in Tuckahoe. From there, participants march north on Route 22 to the Lake Isle Country Club.