Sunday marks the .
The famous Hibernian march has wound its way through the streets of Pearl River for five decades—with 50 different grand marshals at its head each year.
On Thursday evening, a reception at in Piermont honored the previous 49 parade leaders, and feted the current one,
"It's a great honor to be a grand marshal," said John Foody, who led the march in 1985. Foody immigrated to the United States from the Irish county of Silgo in 1948; in the years that followed, he served in the US army, went to work for Con Edison, married his sweetheart Ruth and raised his six children in Rockland County.
Foody said the day he helmed the parade, family members travelled far to watch.
Slattery's was decked spectacularly for the occasion, with Irish baubles placed about the room and green the primary color.
"This year's special," explained Jim Normoyle, the 1998 grand marshal.
Also mingling with previous grand marshals was this year's current, Sheridan, Jr.
"I've known the past grand marshals for years," he said, noting his father, Ray Sheridan, Sr. was an original organizer of the parade and previous leader.
Sheridan, Jr. had worked alongside most of the men he was celebrating with in years past, helping piece together the famous parade.