On March 17, 1970, John Marchese, as president of a local and famous marching club, brought members to the Irish Channel for the purpose of parading in the Irish Channel Parade. Before, during and after the parade, several things occurred that caused Marchese to believe that it was time to organize a St. Patrick’s Parade in Jefferson. After a lot of footwork and a few commitments, the ground work was laid out. The biggest commitment was from the Parish Council Chairman, Mr. Charles J. Eagan, who was asked to serve as the Grand Marshal, providing they could get a parade permit. Marchese then enlisted the aid of Joseph Fulco and together they selected a committee, wrote the by-laws and applied for a charter. The first meeting of the St. Patrick's Parade Committee of Jefferson, Inc. was held on January 13, 1971, at Fulco’s Bar and Lounge. Attending the first meeting as selected charter members, besides Marchese and Fulco, were Harold “Buck” Dwyer, S.C. “Tookie” Woodruff, Gordon Moore, Thomas Naro, Hap Otillio, Jules Treadway, Scott Pete, Charles Scallan, James Carrigan, Richard Hebert and Billy Burke, or thirteen charter members in all.
The first St. Patrick's Parade of Jefferson rolled out on Sunday, March 14, 1971 with 62 units. The parade was and still is a big success, started as a Family Orientated function that all could attend and remains as such, We are told that this is one of the top ten best and largest St. Patrick Parades in the United States. The committee does acknowledge for the help and cooperation given to us by the Parish President, the Council, and the Sheriff’s Office, the Special Events Department, the Traffic Engineer Department, the Fire Department, EMT's and last, but not least, the participating carnival clubs, social clubs and marching units, who give of their time, money and effort to put on a good show for not only the citizens of Jefferson Parish, but for all tourists and visitors from all over the World, who love our Parade, starting with the very first year we took to the streets fifty plus years ago.
Participation in the parade is by written invitation only. By virtue of a Parish Ordinance, this and other Non-Mardi Gras Parades may only have a maximum of one hundred ten units in their parade. Vacancies are filled from a waiting list when a parading unit disregards one of our rules which are attached on this website. Units that disregard any rules are suspended and/or expelled and simply not invited back again.
Another annual affair is the presentation of the Shillelagh, with their Sash, to the Grand Marshal, and the Tiara presented to the Queen. The public is invited to this annual Parade Kickoff event which takes place the Friday before the parade. The festivities include lots of food, music, dancing and good clean fun for all to enjoy.
The St. Patrick's Parade of Jefferson is a "judged" parade where all marching clubs, floats and trucks are scored, ranked and placed based on their competition and overall attention to detail. This includes but is not limited to: the following of all rules, the detailed decoration of each unit, the costumes of each rider or marcher and the overall positive interaction with the crowd throughout the parade. The top 3 winners in each category are then recognized with a plaque at our Annual Gala Reception held approximately one month after the parade. The venue, date and time will be announced shortly and tickets to the upcoming Gala will go on sale through the website starting January 1.
May the road rise to meet you – May the wind be always at your
Back – May the sun shine warm upon your face – the rains fall soft upon your
Fields – until we meet again – May God hold you in the hollow of his hand – And
May you be in Heaven an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.