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Girardville St Patrick’s Day 2016 Irish Parade Press Release 3-8-2016

 

The 13th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade that is organized by the Girardville Parade Committee will be held in Girardville on Saturday, March 19, 2016 starting at 12pm rain or shine. The annual parade is planned every year by Girardville Parade Committee and is sponsored by the Jack Kehoe Division No. 1, Ancient Order of Hibernians of Girardville.  The 2016 year’s parade is dedicated to the 100th year anniversary of the Easter Rising that took place in Ireland in 1916.  The parade will also continue to salute the Irish Heritage and the Coal Region Culture of the Anthracite Region.

The parade’s yearly commemorative booklet and parade program will feature the historical story of the 1916 Easter Rising Rebellion in Ireland and our local coal miners’ union labor movement of the 1870’s. The theme of the parade celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916.  The parade will also celebrate our local history of the labor unions movement which some say was started by the legendary “Molly Maguires”.   The 2016 parade t-shirt will be featuring a “the names of the organizers of the 1916 Easter Rising and the local miner’s union movement of the 1870’s”.  The shirt will be for sale throughout Girardville on the day of the parade.  More information about the official T-Shirt of the parade can be found on the parade’s website www.Girardvilleirishparade.com .  

The Girardville AOH President Joseph Wayne announced that there will be a special grand marshal of this year’s parade. Lt Governor Mike Stack have been invited and plans to be participating in this year’s parade as the 2016 Parade’s Grand Marshal.  Lt. Gov. Mike Stack was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 33rd lieutenant governor on January 20, 2015.  He served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate representing the 5th District prior to being elected as lieutenant governor.    He serves as presiding officer of the Pennsylvania Senate, chairs the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council and the Board of Pardons.  He is a Captain in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and serves as a Judge Advocate General (JAG) for the 28th Infantry Division.  Lt Governor Stack’s mother, Judge Felice Rowley Stack was born and raised in the area of Girardville many years ago.  She had many relatives who were descendants of Irish immigrants who worked the Schuylkill County anthracite coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania. She started her career as a teacher and later retired a Judge of the Municipal Court in Philadelphia.

The 2015 parade still had a large amount of entries despite suffering a major snow storm two days before the parade.  A number of entries had to cancel out on the day of the parade do to travel difficulties caused by storm.  The Parade Committee has to commend Mayor Edward Burns for his hard work last year preparing the Girardville Borough after the storm for the parade.  He rallied and coordinated volunteers of the Girardville Community to help plow and remove the snow from the parade route.  The Mayor would like to thank all the local coal mining and construction companies who participated in the snow removal operations.  The companies volunteered their personnel and equipment to the large snow removal operation that took place a day before the parade.  Parade Manager Stephen Barrett had a challenging time during the parade lineup operations before the parade.  The parade line up numbers that were sprayed paint to the roadway were plowed away with the snow.  A few last minute changes in the parade lineup allowed the parade to be conducted without any major difficulties.

The Parade Committee is working hard this year to bring back the use of floats in the parade.  The floats in the past two years were built and operated by local schools who will not be attending this year’s parade.  The 2016 Parade Committee has developed a new float contest which the winners will receive a monetary award.  The float category will be split into to two different classes of float entries.  The first class will consist of floats created and sponsored by non-profit organizations who are raising money for a special fundraising charity.  The parade committee will reward the three best entries with a cash reward that will be shared with fundraising charity.  The second class will consist of for-profit groups or businesses that will receive a smaller amount of money for their hard work of creating a float for the parade.  The parade committee hopes this new parade addition will lead to an annual tradition at the parade every year.

A number of seven pipe and drum bands from throughout Central and Eastern Pennsylvania are planning to attend like usual. The 2016 parade will feature the Police and Fire Emerald Society Bag Pipe Band of Chester County who will be making their first appearance in this year’s parade.  Ancient Order of Hibernian marching units from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas will continue to visit and marched in Girardville like in the past years.  A number of new AOH Divisions from the Philadelphia that made their first appearance in last year’s parade are planning to return back again.   It will be the first parade that Roman Catholic Mass will be held at St. Vincent's Church, North Second Street, in Girardville.  The parade mass was always held at St. Joseph but had to be relocated do to St Joseph’s church closer do to the new church merger. 

Food vendors and souvenirs can be found for sale at several locations around the town.  Irish entertainment and adult beverages will be available at the historical Hibernian House throughout the day.  The award ceremony will take place after the parade to present the winners with their awards and trophies.  Entries can register up until 11:30 AM the morning of the parade at the Girardville Borough Hall.  Groups and individuals who wish to be in the parade should go to the late registration early on parade day.  It will ensure a better spot in the parade line-up for those who want to participate. Registrants can also register at the parade website,www.Girardvilleirishparade.com.  You can also mail your organization information, including the name and type of organization and number of marchers to the Parade Committee, 30 S 3rd St., Frackville, PA 17931.  Questions on registration or the parade can be answered by calling the parade manager Stephen Barrett at 570-872-3358.  Plan to get into town early because parking will be at a premium and the town will be closed to traffic after 10:00 AM.  Maps of the parade route and activities can be found at the parade website.

 

Stephen Barrett

Parade Manager

2016 Girardville Parade Committee