Irish Heritage in the Wildwoods have a deep connection to Irish Ancestry

The Wildwoods have a deep connection to Irish Ancestry. North Wildwood (formerly Anglesea), was settled by Welsh, Irish, and Swedish fishermen and shipbuilders. The organizations started by those first settlers: the Cape May Emerald Society, Ladies AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians), Anglesea Irish Society, and the Second Street Irish Society of Philadelphia.



The story of Irish immigration into the Wildwoods began over a century ago with the influx of Irish-Americans coming from Philadelphia to Atlantic City, the first shore town to attract Immigrants.  Quakers who helped found Atlantic City were more tolerant of different ethnicities and religions, including Irish Catholics who faced persecution at home. The Irish immigrants built the railroads, roads, and skyscrapers.


Over the years, many immigrants moved south along the Jersey shore to work in the tourist industry. Wildwood became popular among certain Irish neighborhoods in the Northeast and South Philadelphia. When they relocated, they brought their traditions and groups such as the mummers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and they started a Pipe Band. As is with many American success stories, the people who came from Ireland prospered sent their children to college and moved out of the city.

Second and Third generation Irish began to enjoy vacations in the Wildwoods. Wildwood became known as the “Irish Riviera.” Wildwood was a comfortable place to live, and many came here to retire. According to the Atlantic City Press, Cape May County has the highest percentage of residents who claim Irish Ancestry in the state.

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, many smaller cities and towns began celebrating their Irish Heritage. On St. Patrick’s Day and every day, Cape May County Irish service organizations find it vital that the Irish heritage is passed on to the next generation. The deep connection to Irish ancestry is apparent and seldom limited to a weekend in March. Traditions are maintained such as the proper way to dress, the foods prepared for the event and the performance of an inspirational pipe band to enhance the image and celebration of Celtic heritage.

Wildwood celebrates many ethnic cultures throughout the year, but March belongs to the Irish.




Come celebrate your Irish heritage.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration & Parade

Mar. 17, 2018

901 Atlantic Avenue, North Wildwood, NJ 08260


Event Description

A ceremony will begin on the front steps of North Wildwood City Hall beginning at 11:30 am. A festive parade will begin at noon and proceeds north on Atlantic Avenue to Olde NJ Avenue. Participants include VFW Color Guard, Vietnam Veterans of America, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Irish Pipe Brigade, Emerald Society, Miss North Wildwood, Queen Oceania, Anglesea Irish Society, Sheriff Mounted Patrol, local school bands, and much more! FREE to attend.


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