By John Alexander
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Irish eyes will be smiling in Brooklyn this weekend as Park Slope hosts its 42nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday. In fact, it might be the next best thing to celebrating back home in the Erin Isle.
This is the borough’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and this year it’s dedicated to the memories of all those who lost their lives during World War II in service to our country. The parade is also held in remembrance of the heroes and victims who lost their lives on 9/11.
This year’s grand marshal is James Houlihan, owner of Farrell’s Bar and Grill in Windsor Terrace. Houlihan has been with Farrell’s for 51 years. He and his two fellow bartenders bought the bar after the death of owner Eddie Farrell.
Today, Farrell’s is one of the borough’s best-loved bar and grills. In fact, Farrells, established in 1933, was the first bar in New York to get its liquor license after the end of Prohibition.
Affectionately known as “Mr. Houlie,” Houlihan was born and raised in the neighborhood. A civic leader, he has always been a generous supporter of the parish, the church, the community and residents who refer to him as the “heart and soul of the neighborhood.”
He has held barbecues at the Bishop Boardman Senior Apartments, and for many years he has appeared as Santa Claus at the Ronald McDonald House. Houlihan has been recognized for his good works over the years, but he says, “The best honor of all is to be appointed grand marshal.”
The parade mass will take place at 9 a.m. at Holy Name Church, 245 Prospect Park West with the Most Rev. James Massa. Parade assembly will be at noon at Prospect Park West between 15th and 9th streets. There will be a “Re-Dedication Ceremony” to the heroes and victims of 9/11 at 12:45 p.m.
There will be an after-parade party at Holy Name Parish Hall from 3 to 6 p.m., and a corned beef and cabbage dinner, beer, soda, coffee, tea and music by Peter McKiernana Band. The cost is $35 per person.
For more information, visit brooklynstpatricksparade.com