EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange Mayor Ted Green hosted his second annual Mayor’s Ball on Saturday, March 16, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, but Green attributed that to a simple scheduling coincidence, rather than an attempt on his part to link his last name to the holiday.
“No connection,” said East Orange city spokesperson Connie Jackson on Tuesday, March 19. “Just a coincidence. The ball is always held in March.”
Green said there are very practical reasons why he decided to host his annual Mayor’s Ball in March and they have nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day. He did, however, host his first Black Tie Gala last year on the holiday.
“We had a great year here in the city of East Orange and we felt like celebrating all of the hard work and support that the city employees, business owners, developers, the Board of Education and the stakeholders have put in,” said Green on Tuesday, March 19. “East Orange is going in a good direction. The Mayor’s Ball brought out over 1,100 people, including Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and six different mayors from Newark, Irvington, Orange, Trenton and Hillside. Everyone was dressed so beautifully and we all had a great time.”
Green’s friend Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss couldn’t resist linking providence to Green’s annual Mayor’s Ball, regarding its proximity to St. Patrick’s Day.
“Maybe it is the luck of the Irish,” said Vauss, who is not Irish, with a laugh on Tuesday, March 19. “I thought it was excellent. Very well-attended. The mayor and his first lady were absolutely stunning. It was a great location. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”
Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, who is Irish American, said the best thing about St. Patrick’s Day is everyone can be Irish for a day. He agreed with Vauss that it was more than just a coincidence that Green hosted his annual Mayor’s Ball so close to this holiday.
“Mayor Green has begun a tradition in celebrating the ‘Green’ in East Orange on St. Patrick’s weekend,” said Durkin on Tuesday, March 19.
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders President Brendan Gill agreed with Durkin. He said, unfortunately, he was unable to attend the event, but being a good Irish American himself, he recognized the connection.
“I wasn’t there, but heard it was a great event,” said Gill on Tuesday, March 19. “Mayor Green is doing a great job.”
Gill said it comes down to rating Green’s event on a scale of “blast and begorrah,” an Irish phrase meaning “blast by God,” to “Erin go Bragh,” Gaelic for “Ireland forever.” He said the East Orange mayor’s event definitely falls into the latter category.
“I am Irish,” said Gill. “It’s definitely Erin go Bragh. Perfect timing to lead into the holiday on Sunday.”