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Carbon St. Patrick’s Day Parade ends after 21 years

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    The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe will no longer take place, officials said today. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO

Published July 11. 2018 11:30AM

The last bagpipes have sounded in the popular Carbon County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

After 21 years, organizers announced Wednesday morning they will no longer hold the event.

“The decision was made to end the parade for a number of reasons both physical and financial,” said Ron Sheehan, parade committee member. “The committee has consisted of the same core members who have handled the details of fundraising, parade administration, logistics, traffic and crowd control, the Grand Marshal Dinner, and St. Patrick’s Mass, with no younger members joining the ranks. We wanted to end the parade on a high note. It gets harder each year to raise money to cover the cost of the bands, police and public services expenses, insurance and other related costs.”

The most recent festival, he added, cost around $40,000.

Since the tradition started back in 1997, the parade has drawn around 10,000 people to Jim Thorpe each year.

Sponsors of the parade included the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee of Jim Thorpe and Carbon County Inc., a spinoff of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Alec Campbell Division 1, Carbon County, and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Mollie Maguire Division 1, Carbon County.

Noel Behan and Ron Sheehan conceived the St. Patrick’s Day Parade idea at a Bach and Handel fundraiser. Shortly after, the AOH was formed, and a committee and members were in place. The next year, 1997, the first parade marched down Broadway. The following year, the LAOH was formed.

Behan, along with his wife Bernadette, served as the last grand marshals of the parade in 2018.

The revenue generators for Jim Thorpe, Nesquehoning, Summit Hill, Mahoning Township and PSP Lehighton will miss the extra money. A sad day for all :(

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