ALFRED E. SMITH IV INSTALLED AS GRAND MARSHAL OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE
New York, NY, January 17th: Alfred E. Smith IV was installed as Grand Marshal of the 252nd annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday evening January 17th at the majestic New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. Fourteen aides to the Grand Marshal for the 2013 parade were also honored.
Cardinal Egan began the ceremony with an invocation in front of a large crowd of delegates from the Parade’s 200 marching groups, along with Church leaders and local politicians. Dr. John Lahey, Vice Chairman of the Parade and President of Quinnipiac University, introduced all of the honored guests as well as the 2013 Aides to the Grand Marshal. Hilary Beirne Chairman of the St Patrick’s Day Foundation and Executive Secretary of the Parade addressed the audience concerning the establishment of the Foundation and discussed some of the future aspirations for the Parade.
Committee Chairman, John Dunleavy, presented Mr. Smith with the Official Grand Marshal’s Sash for 2013 and Mr. Smith graciously accepted the honor. Al Smith then gave a brief speech explaining how truly honored he was to be this year’s Grand Marshal given that his Great Grand Farther four time Governor of New York was the Grand Marshal in 1925. He stated “I am honored to follow in my great grand father’s footsteps leading the Irish community up Fifth Avenue on March 16th 2013 in what is known as the greatest parade in the world”.
The 2013 Grand Marshal, Mr. Smith is the great-grandson of the legendary Al Smith, Governor of New York, and serves as the Director, Secretary, and Dinner Chairman for the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation and on the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He worked on Wall Street for over 25 years and is active in many community affairs. He has received numerous honors from many organizations recognizing his lifelong endeavors on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Aides to the Grand Marshal for the 2013 Parade will be New York County - Pete Coyle, Bronx County - Bob Nolan, Queens County - Arthur Warren Scullin, Kings County - James J. Sullivan, Richmond County - Michael McVey, Nassau County - James "Jim" E. Henry III, Suffolk County - Dellia Byrne Weissenberger, Westchester County - James P. Walsh, Rockland County – Chris Cawley, Orange County - Thomas R. McDonald, United Irish Counties - Kathleen Keegan Mattessich, Grand Council of Emerald Societies - Robert J. Creighton, The Knights of St Patrick - Paul Hurley, The Aide at Large - Pat Troy.
Dignitaries present were Thomas Fitzsimons Commander of the Veterans Corp of the Fighting 69th Regiment, LTC Jim Gonyo Commanding Officer of the Fighting 69th Regiment who have lead the Parade for the past 162 years, Hilary Beirne Chairman of the St Patrick’s Day Foundation NYC and Executive Secretary of the Parade, Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, John T. Dunleavy Parade Chairman, Alfred E. Smith IV 2013 Grand Marshal, Dr. John L. Lahey, President of Quinnipac University and Vice-Chairman of the Parade, Hon. Noel Kilkenny Consul General of Ireland in New York, John J. O’Connor President of the board of the St Patrick’s Day Parade, Hon. Raymond Kelly Commissioner of the NYPD, John Fitzsimons member of the board of director of the Parade, Eugene McCarthy President of the Knights of St Patrick NYC, Brennan O’Donnell President of Manhattan College, Ronald Cohen Representing the Mayor of New York, Lt Michael Greco New York State Police, Paddy McCarthy Owner of the Irish Examiner NY, Ray O’Hanlon Irish Echo editor, Treasa Goodwin-Smyth Parade broadcast presenter, John Ridge Historian, Antonio E. Sanchez Galicia Spain, Past Grand Marshals Mary Holt Moore, Past Grand Marshal Barney Ferguson, and Jack Cohen VP of Bell retirees.
Background on the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade:
Held each year to honor Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, the parade also honors the
Archdiocese of New York by celebrating a proud legacy of Irish faith and heritage. This year the Parade will again be reviewed from the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Cardinal Egan of New York, a tradition dating from earlier days at the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Lower Manhattan.
In 2013, as in all 252 previous years, the parade will be organized by volunteers from the
community under the careful stewardship of the St. Patrick’s Parade Committee who ensure that the parade retains its traditional values and connection to its past and the church, under the steady leadership of Chairman-Director John T. Dunleavy.
The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade workers and committee members are volunteers. Some members and their families have helped run the parade for several generations. All take great pride in the work while encouraging others of Irish heritage and descent to join them in organizing and running the world’s largest parade.
In the words of Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, said, “Every year on the 17th of March, we in Ireland come together with our extended family around the world to honor our patron saint and to celebrate all the attributes that made us proud to be Irish. It gives us immense pleasure and delight to see so many celebrations of our culture and traditions taking place across the globe. Our connection to New York and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in that city is a particularly strong and special one.”
The New York City St Patrick’s Parade marched for the first time in 1762, fourteen Years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. The Parade is regarded as the most popular of the all the Parades in New York City, and honors Saint Patrick - the patron Saint of the Archdiocese of New York and Ireland. The New York Parade consists only of marchers and each year hosts some 250,000 marchers and two million spectators. The Parade has many outstanding marching bands, bagpipers in marching formations, high-school and college bands from throughout the United States and from all over the world.
The occasion is televised live to millions of households nationwide for four hours by host station WNBC Channel Four. The broadcast is webcast live via the internet through the Parade’s web site at NYCStPatricksParade.Org and WNBC Channel Four web site at www.wnbc.com.
The Parade this year will be held on Saturday March 16th 2013, starting at 11:00am. The Parade route runs from 44th Street to 79th Street on Fifth Avenue? The 2013 parade will be held in honor of Covenant House the nonprofit charity that services homeless youth with a network of shelters across America.
For additional information, or photographs regarding the 2013 Grand Marshal and Parade events leading up to the Parade, contact Hilary Beirne at the Parade Offices or visit the Parade web site at nycstpatricksparade.org.
Parade Press Contact:
Parade Executive Secretary
PO Box 295 Woodlawn Station,
Woodlawn, NY 10470
Telephone: 718-231-4400/ 914-833-8363
Web Site; http://NYCStPatricksParade.Org