View Full Version : NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

Kevin O'Beirne
03-05-2007, 09:04 PM
Always popular, particularly when St. Patrick's Day (March 17) falls on a Saturday, like it does this year, the 69th NYSV Co. A is again hosting Civil War (Federal only) reenactor participation in the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade. As in years past when "The Day" falls on a weekend, the group is expecting over 600 reenactors to march up Fifth Avenue under the awesome repro flags of the 69th NYSV.

Remember, per the event organizers, the required uniform is:

* Light marching order (no packs, no blanket rolls; DO bring canteen and haversack)
* Sack coats.
* Forage caps (only).
* White gloves.
* Shined brass.
* Blackened leathers.
* NO rounds or caps.

Pre-registration is required via the 69th NYSV. Registrations were due March 1.

Who's going? I'll be there--my first time marching in the New York City parade.

03-05-2007, 11:43 PM
3rd Maryland, Co. B has about 18 going

Julio C. Zangroniz
03-06-2007, 08:14 PM
I have been invited by the Federal City Brass Band to join them in this year's march on March 17.
Needless to say, I am *thrilled*to have been asked to participate in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. God williing, it will be my second time I get to march along the streets of New York (where I lived from 1962-1972), because I had the privilege of participating with another marching unit --as part of their civilian contingent-- back in 1996.
That year, I managed to snap what I think may be the *only* image of Civil War reenactors (performing a drill on Governor's Island) with the World Trade Center twin towers in the background. I also wrote a story about the weekend that was published in the May 1996 issue of The Civil War News.
And just as I did in 1996, I expect to record the day's event in photos, so I will be looking for you and your men.
A new "twist" this year: I hope to offer all the CW reenactors who participate in the parade the opportunity to purchase a photo CD with images of the weekend --provided, of course, that I don't consume too much Guiness to hamper my photographic efforts.
Erin Go Bragh!

Kevin O'Beirne
03-08-2007, 12:08 PM

We'll be marching with Co. A, 69th NYSV near the flags. See ya there!

03-10-2007, 09:50 AM
Kevin I know po John & Chris are going, Ron and I and a fish will be there. I'm looking forward to seeing the flags & artifacts in the Armory & the NCO club GarryOwen. Got the brass shined & leathers blackened, See you there.
Bill O'Dea
Salt-boiler mess (http://www.rugglesrag.com/salt_boiler_mess.htm)

Kevin O'Beirne
03-10-2007, 11:38 AM

McKenna's registered too. After speaking with the day's battalion commander last night, the artifacts are in the armory all right but most of the flags are currently "out for conservation", so that particular, attractive aspect of the armory won't be there this time.

This will be my first trip to the armory and I'm looking forward to it.

03-10-2007, 07:02 PM
At least four, including myself, will be there from Company K, First Penna. Reserves.

B.C. Milligan

03-17-2007, 11:55 PM
The weather understandably cancelled the plans of many to attend, but it was nonetheless a good turnout, and an enjoyable day. I regret not having been able to participate directly, but I'm pleased to have been of service as a photographer.


Three pages of images from the day are posted here: http://www.myrtle-avenue.com/2007parade/parade1.html

Julio C. Zangroniz
03-18-2007, 01:25 PM
What a WONDERFUL collection of images!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting them... made me feel like I was (almost) there. I'm so glad the Civil War reenacting community had a consumate pro like you to document the day!
I expected to march --and photograph-- the Federal City Brass Band as they marched, but unfortunately the group was forced to cancel their trip for safety reasons, as was I.
The level of frustration down here in Washington City is cruelly high. A couple of bottles of Guinness really didn't do much to soothe our ruffled feathers. So it goes.
Wait 'til next year!
Erin go bragh!

Kevin O'Beirne
03-19-2007, 07:12 PM
I traveled from western New York to the mid-Hudson Valley on Thursday, spent Friday watching a foot of snow fall and, thankfully, by Saturday morning the New York State Thruway to NYC was clear and nearly dry, and the ride down to Manhattan early on Saturday morning (7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.) was an easy one. NYC got six inches of snow and many of the side streets in lower Manhattan were snowbound, but the main avenues were clear, the sidewalks were largely clear, and Fifth Avenue in the parade area was not only devoid of snow, but totally dry as well.

Parade-time air temps were lower- to mid-30s; could have been better, but I've marched in many St. Patrick's Day parades here in western New York State that were a lot colder. The sun was out on NYC on Satudray, and the wind--predicted to be about 15 mph--was fairly calm. In short, it was good weather following a pretty wintry day in downstate New York.

The reenactor contingent probably had 100 to 120 men instead of the 180 or so planned. The brass band was a no-show, but we did have the pleasure of the company of some very good field music that beat a mighty cadence, and some excellent fifers.

My comrades of the Columbia Rifles and I marched with the 69th New York Historical Association to comprise the first company; I didn't count, but figured there were about five reenactor companies altogether.

The parade was nearly three miles long, and was a nice hike with a lot of folks watching--some of them even sober! :)

This day was special because my Dad--who is just short of age 71 and has no interest in the Civil War--donned one of my spare uniforms, shouldered a musket, and marched the entire parade with me. It was a great time for that alone.

Afterward, we were shown some of the great historical relics in the 69th New York Armory, including seeing the original "Prince of Wales" flag carried by the 69th NYSM in the first battle of Bull Run in 1861.

The highlight of the day--other than marching with my Dad--was about 12:30 p.m. As the reenactor battalion was preparing to leave the armory to our staging area up around 42nd Street, the real 69th Regiment (modern day unit) was returning to the armory; they lead the parade each year (parade kicked off at 11:00 a.m. and finished up about 5:00 p.m.). The reenactor battalion formed up on 26th Street in column of companies and, presented arms to the real 69th as each soldier--many of them veterans of Iraq (2004-2005), marched by into the armory, while several very good bagpipers on the armory steps played "Garryowen"--the regimental theme of the 69th going back to te 1850s. That was a special moment indeed, when the reenactors portraying the 69th New York (Irish Brigade) got to salute the real 69th Regiment upon its return. Few folks saw it other than the soldiers and the reenactors, and it was an honor to dip the sword at these real-life veterans.

A grand day, indeed.

Oh, and by the way, that canteen was for medicinal purposes only, because it was only half-consumed, no matter who needed the medicine in it. :)

Robert A Mosher
03-20-2007, 09:09 AM
Marc -

Thanks for posting those photos, they look great!

And while my group regretted that the Federal City band wasn't there, I wanted to make sure that the musicians who were there got credit. I was back in the 3rd Company and we could hear them playing strong the whole way - it sure made the marching a lot easier (and we were all in step in Marc's photos!).

I agree with Kevin - I could have held at present arms for as long as those guys kept marching by. A rare moment. BTW - the Pipers were from VMI.

Robert A. Mosher

03-20-2007, 01:49 PM
...as I did -- due to freezing rain and snow here in Maryland -- please pardon this plug for an event we hope will someday rival the turnout of the New York St. Patrick's Day parade, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

For those who may not have seen it, here is the event Website: http://www.dougdobbs.com/dc2007/

Touch the elbow.

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Penna. Reserves