Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade Announce 2022 Grand Marshal

ASBURY PARK, NJ – Asbury Park business entrepreneur John McGillion, one of the founders and an important supporter of the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, will receive the posthumous honor of being this year’s parade Grand Marshal on Sunday, March 13, 2022. 

McGillion, along with his wife Mary, established the well-known Johnny Mac House of Spirits on Main Street, Kim Marie’s Eat ‘n Drink Away on Kingsley Street and other businesses. John passed away July 12, 2020, at age 78. 

“In that John is gone, we would like to have done this when he was still alive. He was a financial and spiritual supporter of our parade from day one and we thought it might be appropriate to have this parade in memory of him,” said parade committee Vice President Sammy Boyd, who was one of the original parade organizers. 

“Johnny Mac was a driving force to go ahead and create the first parade in Asbury Park – he thought it was a great idea to have one. He was a supporter of the parade before it even got off the ground. Johnny was always very generous. But he also cared about Asbury Park and was very generous to the city. This parade will be in memory of Johnny and in his honor – and it is an honor well deserved. I greatly miss him,” said parade committee President Garrett Giberson Jr., who is the Founder of the parade.

“John was always very proud of his Irish heritage, and he loved the city of Asbury Park,” his wife Mary said.

“He wanted to bring Ireland to New Jersey, so we would often visit Ireland to find antique memorabilia to decorate Johnny Macs. This year marks the first year having the parade without him. I know he’s with us in spirit and would want us all to have a big celebration. I’m so proud to be having this year in his honor,” she said.

The parade kicks off on Sunday, March 13 at 1pm near Convention Hall. It will proceed south on Ocean Avenue and then proceed west on Cookman Avenue. A reviewing stand will be at Press Plaza, with an after-parade celebration at Johnny Macs – the official parade headquarters.

McGillion will be honored on a special Johnny Mac parade float rather than in the usual Grand Marshal’s car.

A fundraising Grand Marshal dinner is planned for Thursday, March 10 from 6 to 9 pm at McLoone’s Supper Club on the boardwalk. For more information on the parade and fundraisers, visit www.asburyparkstpatricksparade.com

The very first Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place on Sunday, March 9, 2014. Over 3,000 people lined the streets of the city, and the crowd has grown larger every year. Organizers canceled the parade last year due to concerns caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2014, McGillion was a recipient of the Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce’s Carousel Award. The award honors people who have helped to make Asbury Park a unique and wonderful city.

The St. Patrick’s Parade Committee also raised money to help fund various organizations throughout city, including the Little League, The Center, and the Mayor’s Rodeo for Recreation.

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