Tonawanda News

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March 16, 2014

Hibernians prepare for big party, short parade

Tonawanda News — The wearin’ of the green Monday will again be in fashion even though that messy white stuff lingers after one of the worst winters in years. 

Forget the lousy weather, however, because St. Patrick’s Day is when nearly everyone’s Irish and in the mood to celebrate, from Eddie Gadawski’s East Side restaurant to Monsignor J. Thomas Moran, longtime pastor of St. Bernard’s Church in Youngstown. 

In addition to the treasured traditions imported from the Emerald Isle, two other local anniversaries happen to fall on the same date: The City of Niagara Falls was chartered March 17, 1892, and the Niagara Gazette started publishing as a daily newspaper March 17, 1893. The state Legislature actually approved the charter on March 16 but Assemblyman Thomas V. Welch asked the governor to delay the official signing for one day so Niagara Falls would be born on St. Patrick’s Day.

Again, Niagara Falls will play host to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s parties in the Buffalo-Niagara area, with an estimated 2,500 guests expected to attend the 32nd annual celebration at the Conference & Event Center, 101 Falls Street. Prior to the 5 to 10 p.m. party, the ‘World’s Shortest Parade,’ will begin at 4:45 p.m. at Old Falls Street at First Street and proceed 75 steps to the conference center. The National Weather Service says Monday should be partly sunny and very cold with a high of 23 degrees and a low of 14.

Entertainment at the party will be provided by the Blarney Bunch and the McCarthy School of Irish Dance.

The party and parade are sponsored by the The Niagara Falls Ancient Order of Hibernians — the Rev. James Browne Division, assisted by the Ladies’ AOH. “This is truly the largest annual party of its kind in Western New York,” said Jason Murgia, assistant general manager at the conference center.

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