St. Patrick’s Day Parade highlights heritage
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:09

The St. Patrick’s Day parade will make its way through Dundalk on Saturday.  file photo

Festivities start at 11 a.m. Saturday

by John G. Bailey

In 1856, Henry McShane emigrated from Dundalk, Ireland, to Baltimore County, where he established a bell foundry on the banks of the Patapsco River. He named the railroad depot that serviced the foundry after his home town.
    “Dundalk” later became the name of the nearby community founded in 1916 to house Bethlehem Steel workers.
    This Saturday, the Dundalk St. Pádraig (Irish for “Patrick”) Day Parade, an annual celebration of the town’s Irish heritage, will get underway at 11 a.m. at Logan Village Shopping Center. Featuring bagpipers, drummers, elected officials, classic cars, floats, clowns and leprechauns, the parade will proceed along its traditional route to Dundalk Village Shopping Center.
    Highlights of the parade include St. Pádraig, played by Larry Steele, the McShane family — descendants of the town’s founder — as grand marshals, Free State Clown Alley 10 and plenty of music. Making its debut in the parade this year is the O’Connor School of Irish Dance. Another newcomer will be Honorary Grand Marshall Eamon Saunders from the Embassy of Ireland.
  Former parade coordinator Lil Tirschman, who organized the first parade in 2006, passed the baton this year to Dennis McCartney, the new coordinator.
    McCartney expects at least 32 groups to participate in the procession. As of press time, the parade lineup is as follows:

First Unit – Green

1. Baltimore City Pipe Band, led by Ed McFarland

2. Baltimore County Police Honor Guard, with Sgt. Brandon Branham

3. Antique Fire Engine owned by Bernard Schweigman

4. Saint Pádraig – Larry Steele

5. Bruce Null & Harry Connor, carrying the “Fáilte Go Dún Dealgan” banner

6. Parade founder Lil Tirschman, with Scott Gardner, Benjamin Mehr, Thomas Gardner, Princess Ashley, Prince Matthew Herman and two leprechauns
7. Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, represented by Gloria McJilton and Dotty Cristy escorted in Irv Becker’s 1976 Cadillac, with piper Duncan Moore
8. Honorary Grand Marshal Eamon Saunders, from the Embassy of Ireland, escorted in Sam Caravello’s 1963 Cadillac

9. Baltimore County Police Precinct 12, represented  by Lt. Michael Sansosti, escorted in Buster Boyd’s 1963 Falcon

10. Grand Marshals, the McShane Family, with bagpiper Tom Ritter and Drummer David McDonough

11. Civil Air Patrol cadets, led by Karl Lotvedt

Second Unit - White

1. O’Connor School of Irish Dance, led by Casey O’Connor
2. Community College of Baltimore County, represented by college president Dr. Sandra Kurtinitis, escorted in Scott Kirchener’s 1998 Chevy pace car

3. “Defender of Dundalk,” led by Angel Ball

4. Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, represented by David Janiszewski, Ralph Wickes and piper Dan Lyden

5. Dundalk Florist, represented by Mary McWilliams, with flower bearers and a leprechaun

6. Chick-Fil-A Cow Van, with Molly Young and her group

7. Dundalk Patapsco Neck Historical Society & Museum, represented by Joe Stadler, with decorated car and trailer and Irish music

8. American Cancer Society, Relay for Life & Bark for Life, with dog walkers and piper Ed Kitlowski

9. Dundalk Optimist Club, represented by president Paul Kram and secretary Shirley Panuska
Third Unit - Orange

1. Dundalk American Legion Post 38 Honor Guard, led by Roger Thibaudeau, with piper Andrew Chalfoun
2. Nicholas J. Del Pizzo III

3. Papa John’s Pizza, led by Alisha Livingston

4. Freestate Clown Alley 30, with Pat Stevenson, a clown train and piper Fran Wallace
5. Irish American Club of Washington D.C.,  represented by Chris Lynch

6. Sollers Point Technical High School float, with instructor Bill Lynch and students

7. Explorer Post 438 and Aisquith’s Sharpshooters, with Buzz Chriest and members

8. Habitat America and The Greens at Logan Field,  represented by Ellen Spriggs

9. Thompson Automotive Group, represented by Betty Mielke, Gary Cramer and Joe Lyons

10. Beannachtái Na Féile Pádraig banner, carried by Bruce Shaw and Kevin Grarrity, with piper Geoff Douglas and drummer Karen Treat

11. Flag bearers Bob Crandell and Dennis McCartney

12. Pat and Joe Herman