NEW YORK, NY, September 5, 2019 –The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc. Board of Directors is pleased to announce they have selected James T. Callahan, General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers, as the Grand Marshal of the 2020 New York City St Patrick’s Day parade. Mr. Callahan is a long time New Yorker residing on Long Island with his wife Fran and their children. However, Mr. Callahan is very proud of his Irish Heritage with grandparents emigrating from County Limerick and County Kerry in the early 1900s. Due to his position as President of the International, Mr. Callahan represents over 400,000 workers in the United States and Canada. Additionally, He is also President of the New York Friends of Ireland.

Mr. James T. Callahan will lead the marchers up Fifth Avenue on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in the 259th New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade is the world’s oldest and largest civic parade and celebrates the faith of Ireland, Irish heritage and culture.

Sean Lane, Chairman of the Parade Board of Directors, said “We are delighted James Callahan has been selected as our 2020 Grand Marshal. He has contributed so much to the United States and New York. As a major union leader, he is representative of many of the hard-working Irish who immigrated to here in search of a better life. Our community has a strong tradition of union pride and he will make an outstanding and popular Grand Marshal.”


Grand Marshal of the 2020 New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade

JAMES T. CALLAHAN is the General President of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), a union that resents over 400,000 men and women in the United States and Canada. Above all, Jim Callahan is a proud Irish American with his Irish lineage extending from Co Limerick through his grandparents, John Joseph and Alice Callahan and Co Kerry through Michael Francis Lyon, who was also an Operating Engineer. Jim is the President of the New York Friends of Ireland and through the Operating Engineers, he led the delegation to Derry, Ireland for the opening of the James Connolly Cultural Center.

Jim and his wife, Fran, are the proud parents to James, Ian and Patrick and reside in Long Island.


President Callahan is a 40-year member and third generation Operating Engineer. Because he moved up the ranks from Member to Shop Steward, Foreman, Trustee, Business Representative, he became successful. Ultimately in 2003, due to his success, he was able to lead Local 15 in New York City as President and Business Manager. Then President Callahan began his career in the Operating Engineers in 1980. Because he is proficient in all aspects of maintenance and repair, he was initiated into Local 15C as a shop mechanic. 

As a result, he became an integral part of the team that worked on the World Trade Center site in the aftermath of the first terrorist bombing in 1993. After that, as a local union Business Representative, President Callahan found himself back at the World Trade Center.  This time, he was one of the many first responders to the September 11 tragedy. As a result, he stayed to work throughout the entire recovery effort at Ground Zero. In 2003, President Callahan became the 4th President and Business Manager of the IUOE, Local 15. It’s jurisdiction expands the five boroughs of New York City. 

As Business Manager, Jim was an Executive Board member of these most noteworthy organizations:

  • New York City Central Labor Council,
  • New York City Building and Construction Trades Council;
  • Construction Industry Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties,
  • Executive Committees of the New York City and New York State AFL-CIO
  • Governing Board of Presidents for North America’s Building Trades Unions.


Jim has been a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Building Foundation and and then became a member of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens Manhattan and Staten Island Boards of Business Agents and Trustee on the IUOE Central Pension Fund.  He also sat on the prestigious Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Blue Ribbon Commission whose purpose is to oversee all MTA projects throughout the City.

About the IUOE

The IUOE is headquartered in Washington, D.C.. It represents almost 400,000 men and women above all in the United States and Canada who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors in the construction industry. It also includes stationary engineers who work in the operation and maintenance of industrial and commercial buildings. These include schools, hospitals, offices, powerhouses, and sports arenas. In addition, The IUOE also represents nurses and other health industry workers, public employees in a wide variety of occupations as well as a number of job classifications in the petro-chemical industry. 

About the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade marches in honor of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland and of the Archdiocese of New York. The Parade is on March 17 every year. When March 17 falls on a Sunday, the parade is moved to the Saturday for religious reasons.

The 2020 Parade is on Tuesday March 17, starting at 11 am. As usual, It begins at 44th Street, then proceeds to 79th street on 5th Ave. in Manhattan.

Our Parade’s first march was in 1762, fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence. In addition, the Parade is regarded as the most popular in New York City. The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade hosts 250,000 marchers each year. There are over two million spectators. The Parade uses many outstanding marching bands, bagpipers in marching formations, as well as high-school and college bands. Consequentially, they come from throughout the United States and from all over the world.

Watching the Parade

           The occasion is televised live to millions of households nationwide for four hours by host station WNBC. Likewise, the broadcast is webcast live via the internet through the Parade’s web site at NYCStPatricksParade.Org and WNBC Channel Four web site at

For additional information regarding the 2020 Grand Marshal and Parade events leading up to the Parade, contact Hilary Beirne atHBeirne@NYCStPatricksParade.Org or at the Parade Office 718-231-4400 or visit the Parade web site at NYCStPatricksParade.Org

From:             St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Inc.       

Contact:        Hilary Beirne 718-231-4400

                        Sean Lane 718-231-4400

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