Georgia Tech Football’s David Shanahan Named as 2023 Grand Marshal
ATLANTA, March 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Saturday, March 11, residents and visitors will gather once again in Midtown for the 139th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, presented by Irish Network Atlanta and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, CRH and Star 94.
Started in 1858 by the Hibernian Benevolent Society, the parade holds the title as the longest running event in Atlanta history, continuing the tradition of celebrating the city’s Irish culture and history.
The parade will begin at noon sharp at the intersection of Peachtree Street and 15th Street and will continue down Peachtree to 5th Street, concluding at 1:30 p.m.
RECORD NUMBER OF PARADE PARTICIPANTS FOR 2023
Annually, hundreds of attendees line the parade route to witness entertainment from across not only the state but the country. This year more than 80 units and 2,300+ individuals, the largest in recent history, will participate with units ranging from floats, bands, bagpipe and drum corps to childrens’ groups, Irish dancers, animal groups. A host of Irish and local dignitaries join in the parade as well, such as Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Irish Consul General Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir and special guest this year from Ireland, Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
For local Atlanta parade participants with Irish roots, the parade is a much-anticipated annual tradition. Like the O’Riordan Clan, for example, who for more than five decades has made the St. Patrick’s Parade a family tradition.
“My grandfather actually entered the parade for the first time in 1971,” said Mike O’Riordan. “My dad continued the tradition and now my five siblings and I always participate. It’s become a rite of passage.”
Joining the O’Riordan Clan along the parade route will be returning parade favorites such as the John MacIntosh Pipe and Drums and Seed and Feed Marching Band as well as Irish ensembles Carpenter School of Irish Dance, Drake School of Irish Dance, King O’Sullivan Dance School, Atlanta Irish Dance by Burke Connolly and Phoenix Irish Arts.
This year’s grand marshal is Ireland-native Georgia Tech Football kicker David Shanahan, the first from the country to be awarded a scholarship to play American college football.
PARADE CELEBRATES IRISH HERITAGE, IMPACT IN ATLANTA
The parade is presented by Irish Network Atlanta, the 20th chapter of Irish Network USA, whose mission is to bolster business opportunities and economic development between the U.S. and Ireland; support and encourage the Irish arts, culture and sports in the state; and serve as a conduit between newly arrived Irish immigrants and their communities in member cities and states.
“It is a true honor to have been granted the opportunity to represent our growing Irish community in Atlanta with such a prestigious and longstanding event,” said Sinead Connaughton, president of the Irish Network Atlanta Board of Directors. “The St Patrick’s Parade is the perfect platform to help further our mission and we look forward, with great anticipation, to this year’s event and many more to come.”
The relationship between Ireland and Atlanta has been strong for decades and has only continued to grow in recent years. The level of Irish investment in Georgia is significant with over 20 Irish companies now operating in approximately 80 facilities across the state, employing approximately 6,800 Georgians.
Additionally, according to the Consulate of Ireland in Atlanta, nine percent (9%) of Georgia residents claim Irish and Scots-Irish heritage, with approximately 60,000 in Fulton County.
“The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day parade is the highlight of our year in the city. We welcome all Atlantans to join our celebration of the strength of Ireland–Atlanta connections,” said Consul General Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir.
For additional information and updates on the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade, including the full parade route and preparation recommendations, visit www.atlantastpats.com. For more information on Irish Network Atlanta, visit www.irishnetworkatlanta.com. Irish Network Atlanta is a volunteer-run, non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
SOURCE Irish Network Atlanta