St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

By Declan O'Kelly, Contributor
April / May 2006

Paddy’s day will see loads of parades and partying across the country this year, with themed parades, special events and concerts aplenty. In New York, Timothy J. Rooney will lead the 245th Saint Patrick’s Day Parade down Fifth Avenue. This year the parade is dedicated to the fighting 69th Taskforce Wolfhound, 19 of whose members were killed in action in Iraq. On the West Coast, President of the Irish Pipers band Bob Baker (pictured right) will lead the 154th San Francisco parade.

In Georgia. Daniel J. Sheehan will lead the Savannah parade. The 182nd running of the event has grown so much that it has now broken into the top 20 special events in the Southeastern United States and is the biggest annual day celebration in the region. The Kansas City parade will honor one of the city’s most famous son’s, Walt Disney. After 19 years at the head of the parade as lone piper, Jody Watson has been given the honor of grand marshal.

Chicago will again dye its river green for the 350,000 spectators expected. Just how do they do it? I decided to ask Kevin Sherlock, parade coordinator. “That’s a closely guarded secret, and I can’t tell you how many people have asked me that. If I told you I’d never be Parade coordinator again, and I’d probably end up in the river myself, with lead shoes on!” He did, however, assure me that the dye is EPA approved and meets all safety standards. Notre Dame’s 1953 Heisman trophy winner John Lattner is grand marshal for the Windy City’s parade.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig! ♦

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