|St. Patrick's Day Parade, Lowell, 1903|
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Celebrating 30 Years of Irish Culture - March, 2013
The St Patrick’s Day parade of 1903 would be one that would go down in history. Thousands lined the parade route. Every man, woman, and child, wore a green ribbon or sprig of shamrocks. In this city of textiles, days before the parade, it was near impossible to buy any type of green trim. Storefronts and homes festooned windows and doorways with green crepe. There were so many marchers it was difficult to count; someone said it approached 2000. Every marching band practiced their rendition of McNamara’s Band. The Mathew Temperance Society, the AOH, the St Patrick’s Cadet band, Holy Name Society, St Vincent de Paul Society, CYML, you name it, they all marched. Before the parade even began, the strains of “Hail Glorious Apostle” could be heard in every Catholic church in the city. (By the way, even the French churches marched.) Saint Patrick’s was filled to the point of standing room only. Following the parade families and friends gathered to share a meal and toast the heroes and saints of the auld sod.
That was over 100 years ago. The first St. Patrick’s Day celebration recorded in Lowell was in 1833. The tradition carries on to this day. For the past 30 years the Irish Cultural Committee of Saint Patrick Parish has carried on the proud tradition of celebrating the Saint’s day. They have presented hundreds of cultural and social events while preserving our common past. Any profit goes directly to support St. Patrick’s Church and its mission to serve.
President John F. Kennedy once said, “We celebrate the past, to awaken the future.” The members of the Irish Cultural Committee recognize that as we celebrate our past, we are ensuring that the deeds of those who have gone before us will not be forgotten. It is our responsibility to tell of their struggles, to share their love of life, and the faith they held on to, so that we can recognize and celebrate the diversity the Creator has given to us all.
We extend a warm and heartfelt invitation to come share in any of the events that we present this year. Let us gather together as our ancestors did to honor our past, otherwise what will be our future?