No Blarney – Popular St. Pat’s Parade May Return to Hoboken, NJ

One of New Jersey’s most popular St. Patrick’s Day parades may be back next year.

Hoboken canceled the parade 11 years ago after a series of bad behavior and public drunkenness.

The controversial ‘Leprecon’ bar crawl took over and the public debauchery only got worse. Police issued hundreds of summonses and made dozens of arrests as drunken pub bots caused myriad problems. It went so badly that many locals say they left town on St. Patrick’s Day.

Now, a group of local business leaders are trying to resurrect the parade, but with a much more family-friendly vibe.

The Hoboken Business Alliance takes a very cautious approach, not wanting to open the door to bad people.

As part of any parade plan, companies would have to agree not to participate in “Leprecon”.

Hoboken residents are invited to complete an online survey to find out their thoughts on the festivities.

Among the survey questions:

  • If the Hoboken Business Alliance were to reintroduce the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade, at no additional cost to taxpayers, on the first Saturday in March, would you be in favour?
  • If the parade were to return, with the stipulation that no bars or restaurants participated in the “Leprecon” pub crawl that has in recent years taken place on the first Saturday in March, and that it would be a family parade , would you support?
  • If the Hoboken Business Alliance were to introduce a family parade, and without the bars participating in the “Leprecon” pub crawl, would you be more likely to frequent businesses in town on the first Saturday in March?

The survey will accept responses until November, then the results will be presented to Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Hoboken City Council.

Bhalla is also taking a cautious approach and has not committed to relaunching the parade. His spokeswoman told the Jersey Journal he would make an “informed decision” based on public comment.

Eric Scott is the senior policy director and anchor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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