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Cold Can't Keep St. Patrick's Day Parade From Marching Through Bergenfield

Never enough bagpipes on St. Patrick's Day.
Never enough bagpipes on St. Patrick's Day. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Diehard parade-goers did anything they could to keep warm during the 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Diehard parade-goers did anything they could to keep warm during the 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Bagpipers marching up Washington Avenue.
Bagpipers marching up Washington Avenue. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
A little jig for St. Patrick.
A little jig for St. Patrick. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Even the dogs were decked out for the holiday.
Even the dogs were decked out for the holiday. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Parade-goers get their green on.
Parade-goers get their green on. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The Bergenfield High School Band led the parade.
The Bergenfield High School Band led the parade. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The Irish dancers from The Jig Factory in Ridgewood were all smiles.
The Irish dancers from The Jig Factory in Ridgewood were all smiles. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Twirling in the winter wind was no easy task.
Twirling in the winter wind was no easy task. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
The Clan Na Vale Pipe Band.
The Clan Na Vale Pipe Band. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Little Miss Irish.
Little Miss Irish. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Grand Marshall Kevin Downes.
Grand Marshall Kevin Downes. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Everybody went green Sunday.
Everybody went green Sunday. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Sporting a dash of green.
Sporting a dash of green. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Nine Mile House plays Irish music.
Nine Mile House plays Irish music. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, nicknamed "Shamus" for the day, delivers an address honoring the Irish contributions to the county.
Bergen County Executive James Tedesco, nicknamed "Shamus" for the day, delivers an address honoring the Irish contributions to the county. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Holding the Irish flag during the Irish national anthem, "The Soldier's Song."
Holding the Irish flag during the Irish national anthem, "The Soldier's Song." Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Saluting the flag at Roy W. Brown Middle School before the parade began.
Saluting the flag at Roy W. Brown Middle School before the parade began. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
A parade-goer with a hand over his heart as he pledges allegiance to the American flag at a ceremony at the Roy E. Brown Middle School.
A parade-goer with a hand over his heart as he pledges allegiance to the American flag at a ceremony at the Roy E. Brown Middle School. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

BERGENFIELD, N.J. — There weren’t enough sweaters in all of Ireland to warm the crowd that showed up in Bergenfield Sunday to watch the 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Freezing temperatures meant a smaller crowd than usual lining Washington Avenue.

“It’s crazy to be out here but it’s been a tradition for many years,” said Charles Yates of Washington Township.

“You have to come— family, friends.”

Other parade-goers called the turnout “mellow” and “light” even as they sipped green-colored drinks and huddled under blankets.

Before the marching commenced, The Council of Irish Associations of Bergen County ran a small ceremony at Roy W. Brown Middle School where both the Irish and American national anthems were played.

County Executive James Tedesco III spoke, pointing out that 120,000 Bergen County residents are of Irish descent.

Grand Marshal Kevin Downes delivered an emotional speech, dedicating the parade to his late parents and father-in-law.

He thanked them for “the gift of warmth, a gift of resilience and a gift of character.”

“I want to pass this gift along to my children and the gift is being Irish,” he said.

“Our parents are no longer with us but I pray they have a great seat today at the parade.”

Bergenfield police said the parade ran well and there were no problems.

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