It’s Official: St. Patrick’s Season Begins
It’s always one of the first events of the St. Patrick’s Day season in Philadelphia and the pre-parade party at the studios of CBS3, which has been broadcasting the Philadelphia parade for a decade, is the official start of the excitement.
But the event was tinged with sadness this year: Parade Director Michael Bradley called for a moment of silence to remember two longtime members of the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association who died in the last two weeks: Knute Bonner and Paul Phillips.
Still, since it was an Irish thing, there was also merrymaking. Brian, Michael, and John Boyce and their sister Karen Boyce McCollum, along with Blackthorn members John McGroary and Michael Callaghan provided the music and the McDade-Cara School and 2011 Grand Marshal Sister James Ann Feerick provided the dancing. There was a legendary grouping of former grand marshals, an amazing buffet table provided by IBEW Local 98, whose leader, John Dougherty, was last year’s grand marshal, and some impromptu crooning by another former Grand Marshal, Vincent Gallagher, and Judge James Lynn, whose St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at The Plough and the Stars is the place to be on March 17. This year’s grand marshal, Harry Marnie, a retired police officer who injected new life into the city’s Emerald Society, an organization made up of police and fire personnel of Irish ancestry, was introduced. When he faltered a little with his written speech, he got some help from his wife, Pat, who yelled out to him, “Wing it!” So he did, with a laugh, thanking his wife for “her support.”
Check out our photos for all the fun.
And here’s a video wrap-up of the night’s festivities.