By Jill Harmacinski
---- — LAWRENCE - When Patrick Delaney thinks of his childhood in Lawrence, he fondly recalls going to St. Patrick’s Day parades with his family and friends. This year, the Lawrence fire department lieutenant is helping resurrect the March 15 parade for others.
“This is a family oriented event,” Delaney said. “If we could get people who used to come to the parade to come back - that would be great.”
To raise money to offset parade costs, a Feb. 7 fundraiser will be held at 7 p.m. at the Relief’s In at 1 Market St. in Lawrence. The suggested donation per person is $20 and tickets are now on sale at the Relief’s In.
The Relief’s In has already donated $3,000 to the parade fund. Organizers are looking for continued donations and sponsors to make this year’s parade successful after being cancelled three years ago due to financial constraints.
This parade theme this year is “Cead Mile Failte”, which means 100,000 welcomes.
Awards for parade floats will given in the following categories; Best overall theme, most original/creative business, most original/creative non-profit and best school float, according to information recently released by the St. Patrick’s parade committee.
Committee members are currently discussing the parade route and details should be released shortly, said Thomas Cuddy, the parade committee chairman.
“The committee as a whole and the subcommittees are working very hard to make this parade a success,” said Cuddy, a Lawrence native and Irishman and city police officer.
The rebirth of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a priority for new Mayor Daniel Rivera. The parade committee has a core group of 15 members, with strong support from the Lawrence Fire Department and Relief’s In.
Any person, business or group interested in participating or donating to the parade can email the committee at Lawrencestpatsparade2014@gmail.com. Anyone wishing to make a donation can make out a check to the Exchange Club of Lawrence and write St. Pat’s Parade Fund in the memo. Checks can be mailed to the Relief’s In, 1 Market St., Lawrence, Mass. 01843.
Parade details will also be posted on Facebook under the “Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade Returns” page.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade is part of a series of Irish Month events in march that include the annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, a dinner dancer, lectures and more.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.