Luck and cheers abound at the Wallkill Saint Patrick’s Parade

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 3/20/24

The Hamlet of Wallkill, from John G. Borden Middle School to Dubois Street, was lit with green, orange and white as local residents and visitors alike enjoyed and cheered on the annual Wallkill Saint …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Luck and cheers abound at the Wallkill Saint Patrick’s Parade


The Hamlet of Wallkill, from John G. Borden Middle School to Dubois Street, was lit with green, orange and white as local residents and visitors alike enjoyed and cheered on the annual Wallkill Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Sunny weather with a slight breeze kept spirits high during the parade.

The annual parade, headed by the Wallkill Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, kicked off Sunday, March 17 at 1490 Route 208. The lineup for the parade took place at 1 p.m. and the parade kicked off at 2 p.m.

Members of the parade committee, both new and returning, helped guide the parade’s participants to their respective divisions, helped guide local traffic and welcomed people as they arrived in town.

“This is going to be a great day for a parade and there’s going to be so much going on and happy to see so many out-of-towners coming to visit our hamlet and enjoy our parade,” said Alison Laspada. “It’s just so nice to see more and more people on the sides and enjoying the parade.”

Along Bona Ventura Avenue into Wallkill Avenue, residents and visitors alike set up their watching spots with blankets and chairs, hoping to get a glimpse of all the floats and various community groups that would be marching in the parade. Food, drinks and laughs were shared amongst one another while souvenirs were also available for purchase during the parade celebration.

“It is exciting to hear all the pipe bands and to see all the local community floats and the involvement and it’s really a great small town parade,” said Ted Overton. “I know years ago, the parade was started cause the original members wanted to get family together and make a family day so that’s a big part of the village here and Wallkill and the Town of Shawangunk.”

“It’s [the parade] just a great coming together of all the community and outside of the community and people just enjoying everything,” said Angela Patella. “Glad we have good weather.”

For longtime residents such as Stephen Bell, it is a special day spent together with his wife, his children, his grandchildren and other family members, watching the floats and enjoying good weather. “There’s been a number of parades coming through our town. Over the years, I’ve documented a lot of these parades, both professionally and just for my own personal gratification,” he said.

For the 2024 parade, Heather Riley and Wendy Cavanaugh both served as the Grand Marshals. A first time decision by the Wallkill Parade Committee to select two grand marshals, both women have been longtime residents, active members of the Wallkill community and were equally honored to serve. For the Wallkill community, they expressed gratitude to the community for the continued support in their outreach work and providing supplies and donations. “We appreciate everybody helping us with the stuff that we do,” said Cavanaugh. “We love to see the smiles on people’s faces when we help them out with things. They feel so blessed and we feel so blessed to be able to do this,” said Riley.

As the parade made its way down Bona Ventura, float riders, elected officials, fire companies and other community groups tossed out candy and other treats to the kids along the parade route.

“I remember when I was a kid watching the parade and really what I’m looking for today is for all those kids out there on the parade route to have a fantastic day to see the fire trucks, to hear the music, the pipe and drum bands and it’s always a great parade but it’s even more special when it’s held on St. Patrick’s Day like today,” said Shawangunk Supervisor Ken Ronk.

As the day went on, neighbors waved and said hello to one another as they passed on in their floats and decorated vehicles before concluding another successful parade in the hamlet.

The parade participants within their respective divisions were as follows for Sunday’s festivities:

Division 1 - Town of Shawangunk Police Car, Plattekill Police Car, Color Guard – Rose Sheeley Post 1034 American Legion, Ulster Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), Grand Marshals Heather Riley & Wendy Cavanaugh, the Wallkill St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the Shawangunk Town Board, Congressman Pat Ryan, the Orange County Fire Fighters Bagpipe Band, the Wallkill Fire Department, Broken Hose Truck, Amerscots band, Vision of Wallkill (VOW), Town of Shawangunk Environmental Council, Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan, Town of Shawangunk Highway Department, Wallkill Nursery School, Macleod’s of Cornwall band, Wallkill Youth Lacrosse, Southern Ulster Futbol Club (SUFC), Nicoli Realty, Town of Shawangunk Democrats, New Hurley Reformed Church float, North Point Athletics, Rotary Club - Southern Ulster, Coldenham Fife & Drum, Wallkill Senior High School Class of 2024 vehicle, Wallkill Senior High School Drama Club, Girl Scout Troops 60078/60037, Girl Scout Troop 60123, Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson Troop 724, Girl Scout Troop 00183 and all other girl scout troops, Rose Clan Pipe & Drum, Federated Sportsmen Clubs of Ulster Co., Wallkill Reformed Church, George’s Fuel Inc. and North Wind Hours Farm/Trailblazers 4-H.

Division 2 - Firefighter McPadden Pipes & Drums, Modena Fire Department, Modena Ladies Auxiliary, Wallkill Lion’s Club, Wallkill Leo’s Club, Most Precious Blood School, Knights of Columbus – MPB, Miss Military Star & Miss Spirit Organization, Sheahan Gormley School of Irish Dance, Hudson Valley Professional Musicians, New Paltz Fire Department, 66 Landscaping, Motorcycle Escort for Boy Scout Troop 33, Walden Boy Scouts – Troop 33/Troop 32, Walden Girl Scout Troop – 724 and all other boy scout troops, Maybrook Troop 236/195 Boy Scout band, Walker Valley Fire Department, Wallkill Area Little League, Walden Savings Bank, Upstate Energy, Hudson Valley Police Regional Pipes, Clintondale Fire Department, Clintondale Ladies Auxiliary, Plattekill Fire Department, DJ Paulie H, Dawes Septic & Repair, Boy Scout Troop 195, Rough Riders (Troopers & Regulators) band, Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad, Third & Company Lake Side, Bearded Boys BBQ, Barn Find Wood Fired Pizza, Duffie Electric and Millspaugh Furniture.

Division 3 - Hudson Highlands Pipe Band, Shawangunk Valley Fire Co., Hudson Valley Ghostbusters, GYMGUYZ Personal Training, Tappen Zee Bridge Bridgeman, Gardiner Fire Department, Hudson Valley Hornets, Harley’s Hauling and Dumpster Rental, WALL Radio, Orange Blossoms 124th NYSV – (Riffles), Dos Amigo Band, Sullivan/Ulster County Jeeps – (10) Jeeps – (Irish) (Easter Bunny), Sprucegate Farm & Blueline Mechanical HV, Humane Society of Walden, horses from Michaela, horses from Kortright Farm – Kimberly Kelly, horses from Maria’s Safe Haven Farm Inc., Wallkill Ambulance, Town of Shawangunk Police Car and two Plattekill police cars.