MORRISTOWN — The streets of Morristown was flooded with green on Saturday, March 12 as thousands of individuals gathered in attendance of the 38th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Under sunny skies and warm temperatures, spectators began their migration to the green to scope the best parade view and enjoy the acts and activities, including a performance by The Blarney Sessions and a chalking of the shamrocks. The parade started at 12 Noon and ended shortly before 2:00 p.m.
Droves of green clad families, swelled around the green and bagpipes echoed through the streets as the parade began its route, starting just before Elm Street and marching down South Street and around the green before looping back to the finishing line at Morristown High School.
For the second year in a row, the Trustees of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Morris County have selected John Hyland to lead the 2016 parade as Grand Marshal. John was originally selected as grand marshal for the 2015 parade, but regretfully decided to withdraw for health reasons. His battle with blood cancer years ago evolved into another form of bone marrow cancer and had to prepare for a bone marrow transplant, which was completed successfully on Good Friday, 2015. The trustees unanimously voted to make him 2016 Grand Marshal of 2016 Morris St. Patrick’s Parade, understanding that his health comes first.
John’s strong Irish roots, commitment to enhancing awareness of Irish culture, and his strong commitment to the Morris County community make him a most deserving choice. When informed of trustees’ selection, he said he was humbled by it. “I am honored and delighted that I am able to accept this honor and fulfill the requirements this year,” said John. With the full support of his family, friends and colleagues he is ready to lead the 2016 Parade.
A long-time supporter of the Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Irish community, John has been Treasurer for the parade organization for more than a decade. He was also finance chairman in 1999 and 2000 and has remained a member of Finance Committee since then. His late father, Patric Hyland, was one of the founding members and a past president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County.
The army of shamrocks and step dancers were lead by grand marshal John P. Hyland. A Morristown native, Hyland was nominated to lead the parade in 2015, but had to withdraw due to bone marrow transplant, which was successfully completed last year.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Morris County functions as a nonprofit organization. Following the expenses of each year’s parade, they provide contributions to various organizations and charities, totaling approximately $300,000 over the last 37 years. In 2014 alone they donated $40,000 to charities.