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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: March 12, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Greenburgh Slice of History

Céad Míle Fáilte, from Greenburgh: Greenburgh Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day




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Céad Míle Fáilte, from Greenburgh: Greenburgh Celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day

By: Riley Wentzler & Felicia Barber 




 “Céad Míle Fáilte”, the phrase in the title, means “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes” in Gaelic. Gaelic is the language of Ireland (Higgins 1993). 

 March 17th is Saint Patrick’s Day, a holiday named for the patron saint of Ireland. He is said to have been born around 389. His place of birth is disputed. Some say England, others say France. His real name is Succat. When he was sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates who brought him to Ireland as a slave. He allegedly saw visions urging him to escape. He finally ran away six years later to the French Island of Gaul. Later he was ordained as a priest.  (MICROSOFT ENCARTA, 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation).     


At some point, he returned to Ireland at which point he is credited with  Christianizing it ( O'Raifeartaigh 2021). Prior to his efforts, Ireland largely practiced Nordic Paganism. He is also alleged to have driven all of the snakes out of the country (O'Raifeartaigh 2021).  For these reasons, he is the country’s patron saint. He died around 461 (MICROSOFT ENCARTA, 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation).     


Today Saint Patrick’s Day is associated with: the color green, lots of drinking, the playing of Irish Music, and, of course, the massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. But just how was Saint Patrick’s Day celebrated in Greenburgh in years past?  

We, the Assistant Town Historians, approached this question the same way we approached the question of Halloween in our article, Joy and Innocence, Mischief and Fear: Halloween in the 20th Century In Greenburgh, Christmas- Hanukkah celebrations in our article, Candle light, electric light, bringing joy to December in Greenburgh and Valentines’ Day celebrations in our article, Love is in the Air!!! Greenburgh Celebrates Valentines ‘Day, by looking at old newspapers.


Our story begins in Tarrytown where Greenburgh’s earliest recorded Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations occurred.


Tarrytown 1888-1931:


Every year on Saint Patrick’s Day from 1888-at least 1931, the Ancient Order of Hibernians a fraternal order of Irish Catholics, held a ball at the Tarrytown Music Hall (Tarrytown Daily News March 1931).

On Saint Patrick’s Day in 1927, The Strand Theater showed the movie, “Sweet Rosie O’Grady” (Tarrytown Daily News March 17 1927 p.7) .

On Saint Patrick’s Day in 1928, the Carmelite Church held a dance at a high school gym (Tarrytown Daily News March 5 1928, p.4),but, in 1931, they held the same dance on March 2 and then they held a card party on March 16th (Tarrytown Daily News March 16 1931 p.20).

While we could find no record of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in Tarrytown in 1932, we did find celebrations in other villages starting at that point, and it is to those we now turn our attention.


Other Villages 1932-1939:


The February 12, 1932 issue of the Dobbs Ferry Register reports that The Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Greenburgh’s Village of Ardsley planned a St. Patrick’s Day Card Party (Dobbs Ferry Register, February 12, 1932 p. 8). Six years later, The Ardsley Club of Ardsley on Hudson in Greenburgh’s Village of Irvington held a St. Patrick’s Day Dance according to the  March 25, 1938 issue of The Hastings News (The Hastings News, March 25, 1938 p.4).  

Not to be outdone, the following year, 1939, Greenburgh’s Village of Elmsford decided to get in on the fun. The Sons of Erin held a traditional Irish dance at Mount Carmel Church. 600 people attended, all wore green (The Daily News, Tarrytown, N.Y., March 18, 1939, p. 2).





In conclusion, Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday named for the patron saint of Ireland. Today it is coupled with: the color green, lots of drinking, the playing of Irish Music, and, of course, the massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. However, in years past, in Greenburgh it was most commonly associated  with: a ball hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians at the Tarrytown Music Hall, a dance hosted by the Carmelite Church, and various St. Patrick’s Day card parties. 

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Previous Slices of History include:














































































  • His Soul Goes Marching on In Greenburgh: Abolitionists in Greenburgh Part I  (2/26/2022) 




About the Authors:


We are both Assistant Town Historians at Greenburgh Town Hall and we are engaged to be married and are currently looking for permanent employment.


Riley Wentzler:

I was born and raised in a small rural town in central Pennsylvania. In high school, I took every honors course available including four years of Spanish. I received A’s in all of them. I graduated third in my class of 146 students. This brought me to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Once there, I continued my trend of academic excellence. I graduated summa cum laude in Political Science with a minor in Spanish and a Master’s in Communication Studies, with a G.P.A of 3.94. It was also there that I met my lovely fiancée, Felicia Barber. My Master’s in Communication has promoted public speaking, teamwork, and customer service. My Political Science degree has developed my research skills using computer-based tools and provided me with experience using the Microsoft Office products. My minor in Spanish has facilitated my bilingual capabilities. During my internship at Greenburgh, I created the petition for the State Roads project using website tools. My diverse education and areas of interest have provided me with a wide range of skills. I look forward to finding a career opportunity in business or government. To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comor to help me find employment, you can contact me at 


Felicia Barber:

I was born in New York City and raised in Hartsdale, New York. I graduated from Ardsley High School. I recently earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was here that I met my fiancé, Riley Wentzler. As a result of my academic excellence, I won a scholarship every year. I learned and applied many graphic design skills to projects during my summer internships and at school. I am proficient in using Adobe graphic design applications including Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. For my Identity/branding course at Edinboro, I created logos to appear on the tee-shirts of Physical Education majors. For a veteran’s upcoming event, I used a typeface to focus the reader to the soldier in the poster. For the State Roads Legislative Campaign project, I created the embedded graphic-photo that accompanied the petition I am looking for a job to utilize my skills as a Graphic Designer in an agency, print shop, company or government To suggest a topic for next week’s article, you can contact me at assistanthistorian@greenburghny.comTo learn more about my artwork or to help me find employment you can contact me at



Two Interviews with the authors:





Dobbs Ferry Register, February 12, 1932 p. 8)


Hastings News, March 25, 1938 p.4

Higgins, J. (1993). Thunder Point. (NOT Given) : Putnam Adult.


Microsoft Corporation. (1993-2003, (Not Given) (Not Given)). Encarta Encyclopedia. Redmond, Washington, United States of America.


 O'Raifeartaigh, T. (2021, March 17). St. Patrick. Encyclopedia Britannica

Tarrytown Daily News March 1931


Tarrytown Daily News March 16 1931 p.20


Tarrytown Daily News March 5 1928, p.4


Tarrytown Daily News March 17 1927 p.7




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