LarkinThe organizers of the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade have announced that this year’s third annual march will honor the memory of Michael Larkin, president of the parade’s Board of Trustees and an instrumental figure in the founding of the community event, scheduled to proceed on Sunday, March 8.

A resident of Sea Bright, and President of Michael J. Larkin Associates, a global fundraising and event consulting company, Larkin passed away in late December, while preparations were being made for the first in a round of fundraiser events keyed to this year’s parade — a schedule that kicks off on January 17 with a now-traditional party at Murphy’s Tavern in Rumson.

A co-founder of the the Sandy Hook Foundation and producer of the first three New Jersey Marathons, Larkin coordinated events for national non-profit organizations in the United States, the UK and Bermuda. In addition to the late parade president, the 2015 event will honor a pair of local charities — Jason’s Dreams for Kids, an organization that fulfills the wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses through a variety of fundraising events, and Lincroft-based Special People United to Ride (SPUR), a program that brings both riding skills and life skills to young people through therapeutic equestrian sessions with PATH Certified instructors.

Murphy“On behalf of the Board of Trustees for the Rumson St Patrick’s Day Parade, we send our deepest condolences to Mike’s friends and family,” parade board member Christopher Neary offered in a press statement.

“Mike left us with a very strong framework in which we will continue to build events including and surrounding the Rumson St Patrick Day’s Parade,” Neary continued. “His contagious passion for promoting Irish heritage will be dearly missed by all.”

Commencing at 1 pm on March 8, the Third Annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade promises bagpipe bands, floats, marching bands from area high schools, Irish Step Dancers, classic cars and novelty acts — as well as marchers representing veterans groups, scouting organizations, non-profit clubs and organizations, schools, and area business and civic groups.

Serving as Grand Marshal for 2015 is Philip D. Murphy (pictured), a well-known figure in the fields of finance and philanthropy, and the former United States Ambassador to Germany under President Obama. He joins an elite group of past Grand Marshals that includes restaurateur and humanitarian Tim McLoone (2013) and Brigadier General Pete Dawkins (2014). Jo Ann Pileggi of NYC’s Fox 5 News is scheduled to return for a third consecutive year as Master of Ceremonies.

According to press materials furnished by the event’s public relations representative Susan Belfer, “Last year’s parade had more than 900 people representing area businesses and non-profits, scouting organizations, bag pipe bands, high school bands and the armed services walking the green line. Even our four-legged friends (both dogs and horses) turned out to strut their stuff. The Rumson Police estimate that there were more than 7,000 spectators making it a great day not only for the Irish, but a great day for Rumson.”

Before the first honk of the bagpipes, a series of fundraiser events will unfold at local taverns, with the events designed to subsidize parade costs, while enabling the organizers to disperse donations to the chosen local charities. A list of upcoming events follows below; take it  for a detailed calendar, route description, list of participants and sponsorship information.

Saturday, January 17/ 1 – 5 pm

Murphy’s Tavern

Fundraiser with bagpipers, step dancers and free buffet

$10 cover charge


Saturday, February 22/ 1- 5 pm

Val’s Tavern

Fundraiser with live music by Kevin Feehan and Friends; free Irish buffet; bagpipers

$10 cover charge


Thursday, February 26

Molly Maguire’s Gastropub

An Evening of Celtic Music


Friday, February 27

Molly Maguire’s Gastropub

Fundraiser with live music by Kevin Feehan and Friends; free Irish buffet; bagpipers

$10 cover charge


Sunday, March 1/ 3:30 pm

Tree Lighting at Victory Park, Rumson

Live Irish music, free food and Mayor’s Proclamation


Thursday, March 5/ 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Salt Creek Grille

Investiture Cocktail Reception


Sunday, March 8/ 1 pm

Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Thursday, March 12

Molly Maguire’s Gastropub

An Armchair Tour of Ireland and Sing-along