Local woman Elizabeth Byrne has been named as the Grand Marshal of the Ardee St Patrick’s Day parade next week.
With the 2017 parade just nine days away, it has been announced that Elizabeth will lead the parade through the town on March 17th. Involved with the Ardee Girl Guides for 30 of it’s 40 years in the town, Elizabeth is also known in the locality for her work as a youth leader with the Ardee branch of the Order of Malta over the years.
“I got the phone call today and I’m only getting used to the idea,” she told ThisIsArdee.ie today. “I was very surprised. It’s an honour not just for me for me but for so many people from the organisations too. There’s so many people who give up so much time. It’s an honour for me.
“Ardee is a lovely little community,” she continued. “It’s a credit to the town to have so many organisations. It’s an honor to do this for the town.”
The choice of Elizabeth as Grand Marshal of the parade has been welcomed by parade committee member Padraig McKenny. “The Girl Guides have been providing great services for girls and lassies of the town for years. We think Elizabeth is very deserving.”
Last year, Ardee Concert Band stalwart Kevin O’Brien acted as the Grand Marshal and retired local Garda John Dunlea held the honour in 2015. In 2014, it was Aiden McGuinness and four years ago 2013, lollipop woman Patricia Reid was handed the honour.
The St Patrick’s Day parade in Ardee has been an extremely popular annual event ever since it began in the 1960s, only missing one year in that time. That was in 2001, due to the Foot and Mouth Crisis.
If you are looking to enter either a commercial or novelty float in the parade, or would like to partake in any way; please call Padraig McKenny on 087 254 3542 or contact any committee member. Floats are asked to arrive at the Dundalk road in Ardee for 2pm on St Patrick’s Day for a 3pm start.
“We encourage anyone who would like to enter a float to please do so,” McKenny told ThisIsArdee.ie. “The more the merrier!”