Why? It’s because his honor Michael Nutter says so.
The mayor read the proclamation aloud before a crowd of local Irish in an ornate City Hall reception room on Thursday.
As Nutter started to read the annual Irish Month proclamation, he acknowledged it was a little on the lengthy side: “It will be St. Patrick’s Day by the time I’m done reading it.”
Nutter seized the opportunity to present Irish Month as “just another example of our diversity. On this day we are all Irish.”
On a difficult day when, only a few blocks away, there were raucous protests against the closing of 23 schools, Nutter breezed into the room about halfway through the ceremony to have his brief say, but he paused for a few moments to watch a performance of Rosemarie Timoney’s Irish dancers. Maybe it was a welcome diversion. “I tried doing that myself,” he told Rosemarie in a bit of back and forth, “but I hurt myself.”
Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Observance Association President Bob Gessler was the emcee. Among his many responsibilities was introducing this year’s grand marshal Harry Marnie, together with members of the parade’s ring of honor. This year’s ring includes Timmy Kelly, widely acknowledged for his singing, and for his unofficial title as the parade’s “good luck charm.” Timmy led the crowd in singing “God Bless of America.”
Weather for the parade on Sunday looks pretty good, so maybe that luck thing is working for us.
Preceding the city hall ceremony, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick gathered on the north side of city hall for a wreath-laying ceremony honoring Philadelphia’s Irish notables.
We have photos from the day’s activities.