To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend, on Friday March 15th, at 8 pm, the Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band will march in to Zerns Farmers Market in Gilbertsville, Montgomery County with twelve bagpipes blazing and four drummers drumming.
The band’s roots began when John Clifford, a Pennsylvania State Trooper and a member of Chester County Emerald Society decided to start a 12 member bagpipe band. There was avid interest, but only two other enforcement officers could actually play an instrument. Perhaps it was a bit of the fighting Irishman in Clifford’s blood that gave him the courage to make his dream a reality.
The Chester County Emerald Society is an organization of American police officers and fire fighters of Irish decent. Found in most major U.S. cities like New York City and Boston, the Emerald Society works hard to preserve the Irish culture and promote the contributions of their ancestors. In doing so, some of the organizations form a bagpipe band in honor of their heritage.
In mid August 2005 the band held their first practice session and have been doing so every Wednesday since. They have been performing at parades, law enforcement and fire department ceremonies, public educational performances at schools, and police and fire fighter funerals and memorials since 2007.
In 2010 John Clifford and the band flew to Ireland to play in his father’s hometown of Killorglin. Performing in Ireland was a great honor and an extraordinary experience for them. In March 2014, the band will return to Ireland once again to perform.
An ancient Celtic tradition is to play the bagpipes at a fallen comrade’s funeral. The Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band members will take a day off, as well as vacation days in order to play for and honor their fallen comrades. The band is often called to play at police and firefighter funerals and memorials.
Community members and visitors are welcome to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend, at Zerns Farmers Market on Friday March 15th. The sixteen member Chester County Emerald Society Pipe Band will march in to the Center Court from the North Wing fronting Route 73, in Gilbertsville, in Montgomery County. Visitors will have a chance to experience an important Irish tradition with bagpipes and drums. For a little while, a bit of the Emerald Isle will proudly fill the wings of Zerns.
From Zerns Farmers Market.