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Photo of a young boy playing a drum between two members of the Bergen Pipe Band
The newest member of the Bergen Pipe Band prepares to march in Bergenfield's St. Patrick's Day Parade, March 15, 1999

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The Irish of the Fifth District
A Local Legacy

Leprechauns, shamrocks, St. Patrick's Day, and jigs -- these are the things we usually think of first when it comes to Irish traditions. But did you know that bagpipe bands are also a big part of Irish culture? The boy in the photo is part of the Bergen pipe band in Bergen County, New Jersey.

A pipe band is a traditional Scottish or Irish musical group of bagpipers and drummers. A bagpipe is a wind instrument that gets its air supply through a bag. Every member of a pipe band wears a kilt, a knee-length tartan, or plaid skirt, traditionally worn by Scottish or Irish men.

Pipe bands are a tradition for Irish Americans in New Jersey. The Irish are the second largest ethnic group in this state. Their ancestors came in large numbers, especially during the 19th century. Pipe bands are one way Irish Americans in New Jersey keep their culture alive.

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