Due to the ongoing Coronavirus, the Union County St Patrick's Day Parade scheduled for March 14, 2020 is cancelled.
Have a Happy & Healthy St. Patrick's Day!
Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade
2019 & 2020 General Chairwoman
Jessica Ann Cunningham was born in Elizabeth, NJ
to Clarence and Karen Cunningham. Jessica has an older brother, Matthew, and twin
sister, Katie. Jessica is also the proud aunt of her niece, Jaylah. Jessica has
roots in Northern Ireland, as well as many other regions in Eastern Europe and Africa.
Jessica attended grammar school in Roselle, NJ and graduated from Abraham Clark High
School in 2002. Jessica received a Bachelors of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant,
Management in 2006 from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She worked in the hotel business
for 11 years, before she decided to follow her dream of being a teacher. In 2012, Jessica
started her teaching career as a teacher's aide in Roselle, NJ; while working on her
teaching degree. In 2016, Jessica finished the Alternate Route Teaching Program from
New Jersey City University (NJCU) and earned a job as a kindergarten teacher in Roselle,
NJ. Jessica earned her Masters in Special Education in 2019 from NJCU. Jessica
is an assistant softball and girls basketball coach at her alma mater Abraham Clark
Jessica became involved in the parade and other Irish organizations through her mother,
Karen, who was the 2008 Parade Adjutant. Jessica is the President of the Irish American
Society in Union. She was the 2016 Union County St Patrick's Day Adjutant. Jessica has
also served as the parade's Recording Secretary. She is also a member of the Nugents
Association and Daughters of Ireland.
Jessica currently resides in Elizabeth, NJ. She is a parishioner of St Joseph's the
Carpenter Church in Roselle, NJ. She works part time at the Hamilton Park Hotel in
Florham Park. She still enjoys playing softball in various leagues throughout Union
County. Jessica enjoys spending time with her family especially with her parents in
South Carolina. Jessica also volunteers at her local food pantry and various community
The 2020 Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade
is dedicated to
the Special Olympics.
Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade
2020 Grand Marshal
Michael O. McNany, the youngest of five, was born in Mt. Lebanon, PA.
on April 1, 1966. He and his siblings, 3 brothers, Paul, Ed and Brian, and a sister, Rita, lived there
until the family relocated back to New Jersey and settled in Springfield. Being raised in an Irish family,
with roots in Co. Cork and Co. Monaghan, there were many holidays and occasions spent with aunts, uncles,
cousins, where there was music, laughter and sharing of stories & traditions. Springfield is a town within
Union County that became a great place where he would grow up, have a career, and a family; raising his
beautiful daughter, Amy, that he is extremely proud of and who has been there to celebrate her dad's many
Mike attended St. James Roman Catholic School, graduating in 1980 and continued his education at Jonathan
Dayton Regional High School, graduating there in 1984. Shortly after graduating high school, Mike worked
as a warehouse manager and eventually became a branch manager for a local irrigation supply company. In
August of 1988, Mike was appointed to the Springfield Police Department where he enjoyed a career of serving
the Township of Springfield and his family and friends of the community. He began as a patrolman until he earned
a promotion to Sergeant in 2008. While in this position, he was afforded the opportunity to further build and
grow personally and professionally making friends within the town, local communities and the county. Mike was
later promoted to Lieutenant of the Springfield Police Department in March of 2012, where he continued to
become more involved in community programs. Throughout his career of 26 years, Mike has been recognized by his
department as well as the P.B.A. Local 76 for several commendations which include life-saving awards. Mike
retired as Lieutenant on November 1, 2014, after many years of a very rewarding and successful career working
in his hometown, where he was and is highly regarded and respected. Currently he is employed by Canoe Brook
Country Club as the Security Supervisor.
The Essex County Emerald Society is an organization which promotes and supports the culture and traditions of
professional police officers and firefighters of Irish descent. It was these characteristics that interested
Mike to join the Essex County Emerald Society - Chapter #1 in 1989. He proudly served as a member of the color
guard for several years, getting to know the members, learning about the organization and building friendships.
He was elected to the position of 2nd Vice President - Law Enforcement in 2013 and currently serves in this position.
Wanting to be more involved within this organization, Mike joined the Essex County Emerald Society Pipe Band in
1997. Since then he has enjoyed playing both the snare and bass in the drum line for many parades throughout the
state, in Ireland and especially the Union County St. Patrick's Day parade in which he has proudly marched in for
over 20 years. As a result of his love of the Irish culture, pride in himself and fellow band members, he has been
elected to the position of alternate Drum Major. Over the years Mike has been very involved in the organizing of
band events, meetings, outings, and the scheduling and set-up of numerous fundraisers for both local charities and
organizations on behalf of the pipe band and the society. Just last year, Mike was selected as the 2019 "Emerald
of the Year" by his peers in the Essex Co. Emerald Society for his efforts.
Mike is also a member of the Msgr. Francis X. Coyle Council #5560 as a 3rd Degree Knight, the Summit BPOE #1246,
The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, West Orange and The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Union County, which he
received their 2019 Distinguished Service Award for Law Enforcement.
The desire to give back and help those he meets comes from lessons taught by his hard-working & loving mother,
Ann Marie, as well as the actions of his great-grandparents. Through recent findings, Mike's great-grandmother,
Mary Jane Denton of Cotts, Co. Wexford married Richard J Murphy of Summit, NJ and during the early part of the
1900's, the two of them owned and managed the Beechwood Hotel in Summit, NJ. Sponsoring many coming from Ireland
and assisting them to get settled by employing them until they could begin their own journey to a new life in America.
Helping his friends and family along with giving back to his community is important to Mike and one of his many
admirable traits. In 2015, Mike, along with his brother, Ed, and sister Rita, launched The McNany Charitable
Foundation, Inc. and serves as the organization's Vice President. A small but passionate organization, they have
been able to establish several scholarships for deserving graduating high school seniors and sponsor one of the
Emerald Society Scholarships given out annually. This, along with donating to local First Responders for much needed
equipment and supplies, is their way of continually "giving back." They have also been fortunate to help those in the
community that have met tragedy due to unforeseen circumstances, while donating to other worthy causes throughout the
Mike is extremely proud of his Irish heritage and the values of family, community, service and generosity that come
with it as he continues to support and promote the GRAND IRISH TRADITIONS!