St. Patrick's Day Parade and Scholarship Committee in Hamilton | Mercer County | Hamilton Township | New Jersey


In November of 1985, a small group of people banded together to organize a St. Patrick's Day Parade. Trenton had not had a parade in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland for more than 100 years. Desmond Murphy, who was born in Dublin, and the former owner of the 149 Club on Washington Street, originated the idea.

Initially, the group consisted of four local Irish-American tavern owners. However, it expanded to include those with the expertise to organize the event. The problem was, despite all that expertise, none of them had served on a Parade Committee before or had taken on such a monumental task. Undaunted, they decided to invoke "Murphy's Law", the one that says if something can go wrong, it will.

The committee members then decided that Murphy's Law was too optimistic, so they adopted their own law - "Even the impossible will happen so be prepared to handle any crisis." As a result of that realistic philosophy, the St. Patrick's Day Parade @ Hamilton has earned the reputation for being a finely orchestrated, precision production.

The Parade Committee is disbanded after every parade and reorganized in April by the Board of Trustees. At that time, the Chairperson and the Parade Coordinator are elected, a budget is prepared and sub-committees are organized, each of which has its own set of responsibilities. The sub-committees report their progress to the Chairperson and the Board of Trustees at monthly meetings.

The Parade budget, including scholarships, is well in excess of $50,000. Funds are raised in part by active paticipation of committee members at various functions throughout the year, including festivals, bus trips and its souvenir journal. The committee also raises money through their annual fund-raiser, private contributions and band sponsorship.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade @ Hamilton is held the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

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