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St. Patrick’s Day Parade highlights holiday in Manassas

March 13, 2012

From InsideNOVA:

More than 70 units are expected to march in the 13th annual Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday (March 17th), beginning at 11 a.m.

The parade, featuring Irish music, dancers, floats and dignitaries, will start at the corner of Quarry Road and Prescott Avenue. The units will proceed down Center Street and through the historic downtown area to West Street and to the reviewing stand.

The grand marshal for this year’s event is Manassas Mayor Harry “Hal” Parrish II.
Upwards of 10,000 spectators — many usually dressed in the traditional green — line the streets of Manassas for the parade, cheering the 1,000 participants. The parade lasts about 1½ hours.

“It’s a wonderful, happy way to celebrate the holiday,” said Vince Fitzpatrick, who also portrays St. Patrick in the parade.

Manassas City Council and the Prince William Board of County Supervisors passed proclamations naming March as Irish-American Heritage Month and urging residents to observe the month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The procession will include:

• Division A—U.S. Air Force Color Guard, Police Pipes and Drums of the Metropolitan Area, Grand Marshall, Irish Embassy representative, State Sen. Charles Colgan, Dels. Robert Marshall and Jackson Miller, Manassas councilmen, Prince William supervisors, Manassas Park Mayor Frank Jones and councilmen, and a law enforcement contingent, including the county police equestrian unit.

• Division B—American Legion Post 10, Manassas Young Marines, TD Bank, Boyle School of Dance, Rose of Tralee, Carolyn Kirwin, Grace E. Metz Middle School Fiddle Club, Dunegan Orthodontics, Tip Top Twirlers, Jennie Dean Elementary School Chorus and Flying Circus.

• Division C—Virginia Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Virginia Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Virginia Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Osbourn High School Basketball Band, George C. Round Elementary School Student Council Association, Laser Quest, Prospero’s Books antique fire truck, Washington Redskins Hogettes, Harley Owner’s Guild Manassas, WMZQ, Spotlight Dance, H and R Block, Old Town Sports Pub, Fire and Iron Firefighters’ Motorcycle Club, Washington Area Collectors/Blue and Gray Military Vehicle Trust and PT Cruisers.

• Division D—Virginia Scottish Games, Washington Scottish Pipe Band, Car Show for the Troops, Prince William Police Explorer Post 1268, Mercier School of Dance, Stonewall Jackson High School Air Force ROTC, Clark Invisible Fence, SunAir Awnings, Magnificent Belly Dance, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Manassas Therapy Dogs, Prince William 4-H Club, Bull Run Bicycles, Seton Drum Line, Bishop J. Louis Flaherty Assembly, Knights of Columbus, All Saints Catholic Church Pro-Life Committee.

• Division E—City of Winchester Pipes and Drums, Girl Scouts Service Unit 90-5, Cub Scouts Pack 1188, Toddletime Daycare, McGrath Academy of Dance, Potomac Valley Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Patrick and Northern Virginia Firefighters Emerald Society Pipe Band.

The parade is sponsored by the Inisfail, Inc. board of directors headed by Vince Fitzpatrick. The parade chairman is Phil Nannery. Past grand marshals have been Colgan, Virginia State Deputy Knights of Columbus J. P. McCusker, U.S. Army three-war veteran retired Col. John (Jack) Rice, Eleonore Grimley of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, Charter members of the Father Kelley Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, former Manassas City Mayor Marvin Gillum, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh J. Brien, state Sec. Sean T. Connaughton, retired Col. John J. Kelly, Prince William County Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin J. McGee, Marine Col. Mike Riley and Richard S. Aleksy, Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Staff writer Bennie Scarton Jr. can be reached at 703-369-6707.

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