*Update: The parade is canceled for 2020 due to coronavirus concerns.
On March 22, Pearl River plays host to its biggest party of the year: the 58th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. With an attendance of 60,000 yearly, it is the second-largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York.
“For a lot of families in Pearl River, this is almost like second Thanksgiving,” says Neil Cosgrove of the Rockland County Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), who sponsors the parade. “We try to keep the parade a celebration of our heritage and a reminder of what we’ve achieved in America.”
The 1.5-mile parade steps off at 1:30 p.m. Marchers line up at the Pfizer parking lot off Crooked Hill Road, then proceed along North Middletown Road, then west down East Central Avenue — painted with a green line — and south down South Main Street, ending at the Pearl River Post Office. This year’s Grand Marshal is Frank McDonagh; the parade happens rain or shine.
Some advice: Stake out your viewing spot early (perhaps even the night before) and don’t carry open alcoholic beverages; not only is it illegal, but you’ll get caught — the Orangetown police department brings in extra help with enforcement.