Controversy has raged over the parade for the last several years, as a traditional event became overshadowed by young people coming into town on parade day to crowd bars and drink at house parties.
The parade was always held on the first Saturday of March so that it could have its pick of bands and performers, rather than waiting until the actual day of St. Patrick's.
Last year, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that the parade would be moved to a Wednesday this year in hopes of stemming the party atmosphere. But some said people would still come into town on the first Saturday to party, as well on the actual St. Patrick's Day, which will fall on a Saturday this year.
City Hall has said they were planning for security on those days. But apparently, behind-the-scenes conflicts over what to do for the actual parade have led to what the committee called a "heartbreaking decision" in a letter released on their website.
The parade committee said that "The idea of marching in a parade, in the dark, on a weeknight, is as insulting as it is unreasonable ... we love our city too much to lower ourselves to the level of those who speak from a place of ignorance and ethnic/religious intolerance."
The letter adds, "We chose not to go to court and not to contintue to negotiate over the heavy-handedness of one person." It also says the parade has gone on for 26 years and that other communities have invited them to hold the parade there. "Evidently, there are some elected officials elsewhere in the state who have figured out how to protect their residents during ethnic, religious and other celebrations," the letter says.
It notes, "We are not 'St. Patrick's Day Irish.' We are committted, proud, and blessed with long memories."
They invited everyone to worship at an Irish Mass celebrating St. Patrick on Feb. 25 at Our Lady of Grade Church.
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