The 30th annual Saint Brendan the Navigator Irish Heritage Day Parade and Festival made its return to the West End on Oct. 5, and thousands turned out to celebrate the annual festivities.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 17 hosts the parade as a tribute to Irish culture every year. AOH President John McGovern said that the AOH was proud to continue the tradition and also to continue honoring past AOH members, while also helping the community.
The parade kicked off at 11 a.m. at Hibernian Plaza –– at West Park Avenue and Washington Boulevard –– and featured bagpipe groups along with veteran, civic, school, police, fire and religious organizations.
This year’s grand marshal was retired professional boxer and Long Beach resident “Irish” Seanie Monaghan. On Facebook, Monaghan said that he was “extremely honored” and expressed his appreciation for being chosen grand marshal.
Monaghan marched along with this year’s grand marshal aides Anne Conway, Joseph Moran, Diane Moran and William Philips.
The festival, which ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featured more than 50 vendors, including a stand for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which raised more than $2,000.
The city also hosted a Kids Fun Zone at West Elementary School on Maryland Avenue where children were able to safely enjoy rides, games and music during the festivities.
This year’s sponsors included many West End businesses, such as Shine’s, Swingbellys, the Inn, Speakeasy, Jetty, the Beach House, Lilly’s and others.