The Highlands Business Partnership is proud to present the 13th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. Nearly 100 marching units, including bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, and beautifully decorated floats, will line up to march in the twelfth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.
The 2015 grand marshals are Daniel Shields and Robert Higgins, co-owners of the Windansea Restaurant for the past 15 years. They have been friends since their early childhood years, both working in the former Connors Hotel, where their passion for the culinary and tourism industries began. They later became family and built the spectacular waterfront establishment, located at 56 Shrewsbury Avenue, Highlands. Windansea is a family-run business and home to many friends; they are generous and donate to many organizations. In addition, they host a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community. The Highlands Business Partnership is proud to have Daniel and Robert lead the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The organization is also proud to honor Joe Burke as St. Brendan the Navigator. He has been a great friend to Highlands, working diligently behind the scenes. He is a member of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association and brought many volunteers after Superstorm Sandy. He has helped many people in Highlands while his own home was destroyed. Mr. Burke was instrumental in the implementation of the Sandy Ground Project, Where Angels Play. The project was to erect 26 playgrounds for the Newtown Connecticut victims. He served as the project manager to the Highlands playground for Daniel Barden. He assisted in many fundraising initiatives, as well. The Highlands Business Partnership recognizes Joe Burke’s contributions to the community with this honor.
The parade will begin at Huddy Park, with hundreds scheduled to march along a one-mile stretch of Bay Avenue. The Highlands Business Partnership will host the annual “Competition of Floats.” All businesses and/or organizations in Highlands will be competing in three categories: Best of Show, Prettiest, and the Most Original. In addition, a trophy will be presented for the Best of Apparatus. All fire companies will honor a silent march in tribute to all of our fallen firefighters.
The parade will feature entertainers, along with many marchers representing the military, including the Color Guard. Political, civic, church, environmental, and community organizations represented will include Congressman Pallone, members of the Assembly, Monmouth County Freeholders, members of the local American Legion, VFW posts, fire companies, and first aid rescue units. The local Boy & Girl Scout troops, both celebrating over 100 years of service, will also be participating. The Henry Hudson Regional Marching Band and Cheerleaders will be performing, with over 100 members of the band.
The parade entertainment will include the Monmouth County Police & Fire Pipe & Drums, Ocean County Emerald Society Pipe & Drums, Staten Island Pipes & Drums, Middlesex County Police & Fire Pipes and Drums, Union County Police & Fire Pipes & Drums, Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Pipes & Drums of Old Bridge, Essex County Emerald Society Police & Fire Pipes & Drums, Richmond County Pipe & Drums, Patrick Torphy Pipe & Drums and the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch.
Green balloons and bows will decorate participating businesses along the parade route. A VIP grandstand for dignitaries will be at Veterans Park, located on Bay and Shrewsbury Avenues. There, the marchers and bands will make a brief stop at the Grand Viewing Stand to be recognized. Don’t miss the lucky winner of the Highlands Business Partnership’s “Lucky Pot of Gold” 50/50 Raffle. The drawing will be held at 140 Bay Avenue on Sunday, March 22 at 3:00 p.m., and the winner need not be present. Please support the non-profit Highlands Business Partnership and purchase a 50/50 ticket. All proceeds “pay the pipers.”
Parade-goers can be sure to receive free giveaways thrown from the many floats competing in the parade. If you have not had enough pipes and drums, be sure to visit one of Highlands’s many restaurants, where bands will be performing.
This parade is made possible by the Highlands Business Partnership and its generous sponsors: TriBar Services, Shore Point Distributing Company, Frank Rahm Landscaping, Hufnagel Tree Experts, T&M Associates, Montecalvo, Comcast, and 95.9 WRAT Rat Radio.
For additional information, call 732-291-4713 or visit www.highlandsnj.com.