St. Patrick's Day Parade planned for Newton Vietnam Veterans America Vernon chapter named Grand Marshals
John Harrigan, President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1002 of Vernon with his brothers and sisters during the 2013 Sussex County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
St. Patrick’s Day will soon be here and the Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is kicking into gear with events planned throughout the coming months leading up to the 16th annual parade on Saturday March 16. The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 1002 of Vernon are the 2019 Grand Marshals. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1002 was formed in 2008 by three Vietnam Veterans, John Harrigan, Owen Martin and Bob Gilbert. The Chapter received their official Charter from the National Organization in February of 2009. Since the Chapters inception our membership has continued to grow and now stands at over 240 Veterans and Associate members. The Chapter has been involved in many aspects of Community Affairs throughout the years in Sussex County; among them are: marching in the Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Fourth of July and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newton. They have also participated in the Salute to Veterans, the Sussex County Fair and Wreaths Across America. Chapter members have been attending Lyons VA Hospital on a bi-monthly basis to bring the patients dinner and help lift their spirits. John Harrigan, President of the Chapter, is the founder of the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery located in Sparta New Jersey; it is the only not for profit cemetery for Veterans and their spouses. John, along with VVA 1002 members have been there since the establishment of the cemetery and continue to volunteer their time and energy to make the Veterans Cemetery one that all Veterans, Family Members and all of Sussex County can be proud of. In addition to participating in Community Events, the Chapter has a Veterans Helping Veterans’ group that meets to help Veterans’ and Widows of Veterans navigate the Veteran’s Administration and receive all of the benefits that they are entitled to. Since the Chapters formation members have started a Scholarship Fund for High School Seniors and as of today have awarded over $30,000 in Scholarship grants to High School Seniors. In 2019 we will be awarding Five, One Thousand Dollar Scholarships to help further student’s education. The Chapter continues to play a role in making Sussex County a great place to live. Grand Marshall's LuncheonThe 16th Annual Grand Marshals’ Luncheon honoring VVA Chapter 1002 will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m. at the Irish Cottage Inn located at 602 Route 23 North, Franklin. The grand luncheon includes entertainment, recognition of our Grand Marshals and lots of great craic; including a Tricky Tray and a Fifty/Fifty Raffle. All proceeds from tickets and a Tricky Tray at the luncheon will benefit the Grand Marshal's chosen charity: Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Luncheon reservations made prior to Feb. 9 are $60; $70 thereafter & prior to Feb. 15. No walk-ins at the door. All proceeds from tickets and a Tricky Tray at the luncheon will benefit the Grand Marshals’ chosen charity: Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Mass and traditional Irish breakfastA Mass honoring St. Patrick, the Patron St. of Ireland, will be held at St. Jude the Apostle Church located at 4-24 Beaver Run Road, Hamburg, New Jersey at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2. Following Mass, there will be a Traditional Irish Breakfast at the Irish Cottage Inn, located at 602 Route 23, Franklin, New Jersey. Approximate starting time 10 a.m. The breakfast includes bangers and rashers — Irish sausage and bacon — eggs, potatoes, beans, black and white pudding, tomato, and brown bread. This event is a big attraction so make your reservations, $15 per person in advance, $20 at the door. St. Patrick's Day ParadePlease also join us at the main event, the 16th annual Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newton on Saturday, March 16, when VVA Chapter 1002 will lead more than 900 marchers down Spring Street, Newton in front of thousands of spectators. The parade begins at 11:30 a.m. The line of march will proceed up Spring Street, turning right onto Moran Street and onto Memory Park. These streets will close beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will feature nearly 100 units including Veterans and Active Members of the Armed Services, Police, Fire and EMS, elected officials, bands, floats, Irish Step Dancers, Community Organizations, local schools, accompanying service and antique vehicles, and a variety of pets. There will also be Irish theme characters and sweets and other free treats for children. Mark Hontz will again be the Parade M.C. Mark is a favorite of the spectators and Parade participants alike. He has a pleasant way of warming up the crowd with his wit, Celtic songs and self-accompaniment on his bagpipes; not to mention Mark’s charming commentary as the Parade units pass by the reviewing stand on Spring Street. If your group or organization is interested in joining the parade, please complete a parade application and return it to the Sussex Co. St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee no later than March 8. Go to https://sussexcountynjirish.com/ for event forms and/or parade applications including Parade Standards applicable to all participants or call Mary & Dennis Harrington, Event Chairpersons at 973-827-9179 to make reservations for the Luncheon and Breakfast and for further assistance with forms and applications. You can always reach the parade on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SussexCoStPatricksDayParade/