HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Irish eyes won’t be smiling in Hoboken on St. Patrick’s Day this year.
The parade committee has decided to cancel what would have been their 26th annual parade after the city decided to hold the event on a Wednesday instead of the first Saturday in March.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story
In a letter on its website, the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee said, “The City of Hoboken’s inability to protect our spectators, bands and participants led us to this heartbreaking decision.”
“The idea of marching in a parade, in the dark, on a week night, is as insulting as it is unreasonable,” the committee added.
EXTRA: Read The Committee’s Letter
Mayor Dawn Zimmer decided to move the day of the parade last year saying it was necessary to “reduce the amount of partying that occurs” on a day which traditionally includes heavy drinking. The bars begin serving at 9 a.m. on parade day.
Zimmer tells 1010 WINS the aftermath of the parade has gotten out of control.
“Last year it reached a fever pitch with high levels of property damage, urination on the streets and people’s homes, reports of sexual assaults, there were flower pots that were even thrown on our firemen when they responded to a call,” Zimmer said.
During last year’s festivities, police made 34 parade-related arrests and issued 296 citations for urinating in public, carrying open containers of alcohol and other violations.
Many residents have complained they don’t feel safe walking around during the parade and some even leave town to avoid the debauchery.
“Last year we had every police officer possible on duty…we had as much security as we could possibly have and it wasn’t enough,” Zimmer said. “It’s my job to protect Hoboken residents and that’s what this decision is all about.”
The committee said it is considering invitations from other communities to march in their celebrations.
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