Hudson's St. Patrick's Day Parade all set to march on Saturday, March 19
PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY
Hudson's 2016 Irishman Man of the Year, Derek Johnson (left), is welcomed by his former peers Brian Penny, Tom Whelan, Frank Hicks, and Pat O'Grady at the Hudson Legion roast beef dinner and dance on Friday, March 11.
Who would have ever thought that just six years ago – when a small group of volunteers and like-minded guys and gals got together over a pint at an Irish-themed pub in Hudson to possibly draft plans for the town's first-ever St. Patrick's Day Parade – that it would have come to this?
That the 7th annual Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade - always staged a day before the one in Montreal - is not only set for this Saturday, March 19, starting at 1 p.m. but that it will also be the biggest one ever to wend its way from Côte St. Charles, along Main Road, and up Cameron in a celebration of all things Irish. If only for a day.
Attracting, as it does - and complete with its very own Queen and her Court, Grand Marshal, Irishman of the Year, and green line along the parade route - thousands of spectators of all ages from throughout the region. Proving to be a pot of gold for many local retailers, restaurants and pubs. Welcoming participating floats, businesses, community groups and associations. Marching bands. The Military. And, as an added bonus, making for positive news in the media.
This year, the parade will feature a record 70 floats, groups and associations. Also five bands comprising The Regimental Black Watch (RHR) of Canada Pipes & Drums, the Black Watch Association Pipes & Drums, the Elgin & District Pipes & Drums, Garde du Côteau du Lac Marching Band, and Les Zouaves Pontificaux Canadiens Cie 27 Valleyfield.
And representing the military will be the Royal Canadian Hussars, 2806 Pointe Claire Army Cadets and Colour Party, as well as the Royal Canadian Legion Hudson Branch #115 with its Colours.
“Without a doubt, it will be our biggest and best St. Patrick's Day Parade ever,” says organizing committee member, Jim Beauchamp who, together with friends in the Irish community, first came up with the idea back in 2009.
“And it’s due, in no small part,” he adds, “to the volunteers who work all-out for months to make it happen. As well as the active involvement of so many businesses and organizations that join in the parade with all the time, work, and set-up that this entails.”