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Attention all honorees (Grand Marshals Irishmen of the Year, etc...) an important message for your special day.




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2008 Cleveland  Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Monday, March 17th, 2008.

National Anthems: 1:00pm - Step-off 1:04pm 


Other 2008 Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Ohio


Grand Marshall - John Campbell
Irish Mother of the Year - Kathleen Hough
Co-Chair - Norine Hastings
Co-Chair - Michael Keenan


Cleveland's 141stth Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

Sponsored by the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland

Monday, March 17th, 2008.

National Anthems: 1:00pm - Step-off 1:04pm 


  The Parade Route starts at East 18th and Superior Avenue, travels west on Superior to Public Square, turns north on East Roadway to Rockwell, turns right onto Rockwell and will disband on Rockwell behind the Cleveland Public Library.   Approximately 150 groups will participate including various Irish organizations schools, churches, civic organizations and novelties. This is Ohio’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and one of the top five largest in the United States. 

Thanks to Walter J. McNally for his past 3 years of service as Executive Director!

Congratulations to Dan Corcoran on his selection as the new Executive Director!

History:  Perhaps it was a blustery day, or perhaps the sun sent its warming rays on the first group of Cleveland Irish that marched its way from church to church on that March 17th, St. Patrick's Day approximately 1867. Most likely it was the Ancient Order of Hibernians that organized the songs, and dancing, while large groups of friends and relatives looked on with pride. In the early years, the parade was always on the West Side, as that is where most of the Irish were, from the Flats on west to about 67th Street. 

As the years progressed the Parade enlarged as did the audience and by the turn of the century and shortly thereafter, the Hibernian Riflemen and the Irish Tradesmen were an integral part of the planning and carrying out of the St. Patrick's Day Parade. In 1900, the Cleveland Leader , Cleveland's most prominent, but anti-Irish newspaper, would give a list of the happenings for March17; St. Cecelia's was producing the play, Shaun Aroon; Inshavague was at Cathedral Hall; and St. Thomas Aquinas had Soggarth's Return ; but no notice of the Parade was to be seen in their print. It wasn't until ten years later, on March 17, 1910, that Senator Dan Mooney of the Ohio State Legislature introduced a bill which even recognized St. Patrick's Day in Ohio. 

Two years later, however, who could help but take notice, as crowds estimated at 100,000 from as far away as Chicago and New York, came to the 1912 Parade. They came to welcome home Johnny Kilbane, a local boy from W. 74 St, who won the World Featherweight Championship Crown, a crown he won from Abe Atell in Los Angeles and was to keep until 1923. This was Cleveland's largest Parade ever. 

The war and depression affected the Parade; too many men off to war, women working in factories, poverty and hard times, so that from 1913 to 1935 there was no Downtown Parade, but instead some smaller version on the West Side of town from either a hotel or church to some prearranged destination. 

From 1935 until 1957, under the auspices of the Irish Civic Association, the Parade gained in scope and stature. The event, however, was becoming so large and expensive that in 1958 eight groups: The Irish Civic Association, Sons and Daughters of Eire, the West Side Irish American Club, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and their Ladies Auxiliary, the Gaelic Athletic Association , the Irish Cultural Garden League, the Cleveland Gaelic Society and the Pioneers, formed a single group: The United Irish Societies(UIS). It is this group that established the Parade Committee whose sole purpose was to be the planning, fundraising, organizing and execution of the Parade. Since then the following groups have also joined the UIS: the Irish American Club East Side(1979), the Emerald Civic Society(1989), the Retired Irish Police Society(1980), St. Jarlath's Football Club(1980), the Cleveland Feis Society (1983) St. Patrick's Football Club(changed from the Gaelic Football Club 1985) the Irish Heritage Club(1987)the Shamrock Club (Firefighters 1983), the Irish Northern Aid Committee (1992), the Padraic Pearse Center(1993) and the Irish Cultural Festival (1993). Representatives of these groups meet many times a year to plan all phases of the Parade. 

The year 1966 was a special one in Parade History as the 50th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Uprising was recognized. Twenty-five irish Republican Army Veterans of the uprising were recognized, nineteen of them being able to attend the Parade and hear their names resound over the loudspeaker of the Reviewing Stand to the thunderous applause of the audience. 

Cleveland's Parade, of course, is one of many; the original being in Manhattan, March 17, 1762, as irish militiamen on their was to a St. Patrick's Day breakfast in Hull's Tavern, played their band music and marched as enthusiastic crowds surrounded them. John J. Concannon, former Public Relations Director of the New York Parade, has verified the existence of some 124 other parades; the second oldest being Savannah, GA. 

Fundraising:  The Shamrock Pin issued annually with the current year inside of the shamrock visibly demonstrates the community's support of Cleveland's St. Patrick's Day Parade.  Proceeds from the distribution of the Shamrock Pin fund the St. Patrick's Day Parade-the annual awards, transportation for highs school bands, and a wide variety of other expenses associated with the Parade.  Minimum donation for the Shamrock pin is $10.

Contributors of $25 to the St. Patrick's Day Parade are designated as "Parade Guarantors". The names of each Guarantor are listed in the 2006 Parade Booklet. Guarantors receive a distinctive Parade Guarantor Sash and are invited to march in a Special Unit at the head of the Parade.   The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is a 501(C)(3) corporation. All contributions are tax deductible.  

The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee; Cleveland, Ohio.

Parade Committee c/o 580 Strumbly Drive, Highland Heights, OH  44143 Voicemail: 216.566.5183