The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade first stepped off on March 22, 1997. Over the years, it has become one of the best-attended and supported parades outside of New York City. The RVC St. Patrick’s Parade annually shares its success with three worthy charities, which are Local, National, and Irish focused. Since the parade’s inception, over $1.5 million has been distributed to 75 separate charities. The parade is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) non-for-profit corporation.
The Parade is the only known New York State St. Patrick’s Parade that
The Parade steps off each year on the Saturday falling immediately after St. Patrick’s Day, observed on March 17, and annually features over 120 different organizations and dignitaries.
The Parade’s Grand Marshals have been a diverse group, including individuals such as an influential member of the Ireland America Economic Advisory Board who played a pivotal role in the Good Friday Agreement, a longstanding U.S. Congressman, a Bishop from the Archdiocese of Rockville Centre, a Major General in the U.S. Army, CEOs of major corporations, a Special Assistant to the New York State Governor for Irish Affairs, a Managing Partner of a prominent international law firm in New York City, a decorated New York City Detective, various mayors and village trustees of Rockville Centre, investment advisors and Vice Presidents from Wall Street firms, a Nassau County Legislator, local business owners, a Nassau County Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Recreation, and a Nassau County Athletic Director. These Grand Marshals proudly represent a majority of the traditional 32 counties of Ireland.
The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade Committee is dedicated to promoting Irish heritage and culture, family, and patriotic values; promoting and financially supporting three charities (National, Irish and local); and contributing to the good and welfare of the residents and businesses of Rockville Centre.
The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade emblem is a fusion of Irish-American culture and traditions as represented by the American and Irish flags. The Irish Wolfhound predates Celtic Ireland and is a powerful symbol of majesty and peace. The Irish Wolfhound is also the mascot of the New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, whose motto best epitomizes the temperament of the Wolfhound: “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” The Wolfhound on the emblem is ‘Desmond’, the first RVC St. Patrick’s Parade mascot. The harp and shamrock are traditional symbols that are held dear to many Irish Americans. The harp represents the great musical heritage of Ireland while the shamrock is symbolic of Ireland’s religious traditions. Our parade emblem is the work of Irish-American artist Bernie O’Boyle.
The Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade Committee commissioned this brooch in 2003 to be presented each year to the Grand Marshal who wears it on the Parade Day. The idea of the brooch is to continue the tradition of succession. The names of all the previous Grand Marshals, dating back to the first parade, are recorded in the case.
The brooch design is an original concept by John and Maureen English. The brooch was made by Mullingar Pewter Co., Westmeath, Ireland, and was graciously donated to the Rockville Centre St. Patrick’s Parade Committee by Kathleen Alcock owner of Kathleen’s of Donegal Irish Imports and Gifts in Rockville Centre.