27th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Planned for Saturday, March 13
The 27th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010. Step-off is 1 p.m. from Market and Penn Streets; the parade will proceed east on Market to Duke Street. Approximately 100 entries are expected to take part in this annual celebration of Celtic heritage, including bands, Irish dance groups, floats, antique and decorated vehicles, clowns, individuals and family groups, organizations, and media entries.
This year’s Grand Marshal is Paul Kilker
Nearly $2,000 in prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories; there is a $400 prize for Best of Parade. Complete registration information is available at www.YorkSaintPatricksDayParade.org or by calling (717) 578-0146. There is a $25 entry fee, and deadline for entries is Wednesday, February 17, 2010.
Several great bands will be participating, including the Irish American String Band, who will also perform at Cherry Lane immediately following the parade and give a presentation on Mummery and its traditions. This appearance is made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, through its regional arts funding partnership, Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA). State government funding for the arts depends upon an annual appropriation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. PPA is administered in this region by Jump Street.
The parade committee also learned late last week that it has received a grant from Irish Charities of Maryland to support their ongoing efforts to celebrate and promote Celtic heritage throughout southcentral Pennsylvania.
NEW: Several new entries are planned this year:
Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is in the process of planning a float to commemorate their milestone.
Artists and volunteers for the Cultural Alliance of York County are busy designing a float that will celebrate York being named the Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth and hosting the Governor's Awards for the Arts on April 8th.
ALSO NEW: With the addition of free wireless internet downtown, Bob Mock of York Y-Fi will be exploring ways to use social media during the parade to interact with spectators along the parade route and those watching at home. Bob was live Tweeting from the press conference, using #YorkStPatParade.
Again this year: Irish dance groups will perform before the parade at several locations, including Cherry Lane, Central Market House, the York Emporium, Martin Library, and one or two additional locations TBD.
Master of Ceremonies duties will be shared by Dennis Owens and Dara Rees of abc27 WHTM. As a community service, White Rose Community Television Channel 18 will televise the parade live and rebroadcast it periodically afterward.
The parade draws an estimated 10,000 individuals downtown each year, and is a huge boost for downtown merchants. According to Sharon Whiteley, “The parade definitely has a positive impact on my business, Take Five Expresso Bar at Central Market. Every year I hear comments from the parade viewers about how they ‘discovered’ the market and will now return to shop in the market. On parade day the market is buzzing with activity, Irish dancers perform and parade goers shop. I commend the parade committee on keeping the focus on the downtown and urging parade goers to shop in downtown businesses.” Take Five is graciously donating coffee for volunteers on parade day.
Mel Conrad, a popular and talented local artist, will be drawing caricatures at Continental Square beginning at 11:15 a.m. to entertain those who arrive early with hope of securing a great seat along the parade route. There will also be coloring pages to keep youngsters occupied until the parade arrives. These children’s activities are made possible through the generosity of Children’s Dental Centre of York.
Also at Continental Square, there will be media tents with promotional giveaways plus the parade committee will have a variety of novelties for sale, including the 2010 parade commemorative t-shirt and raffle tickets for ten great prize packages, to be drawn as soon as the parade concludes.
Many downtown merchants will be featuring special menu items and promotions in connection with the parade. For example, Kimman's will offer a 15% discount to anyone who wears green on parade day, and Simply Soup, located in Central Market, will be featuring Potato Leek Soup, a popular Irish soup. Complete details will be posted on www.YorkSaintPatricksDayParade.org in early March.
Caroline Morris, owner of Kimman’s, said, “We are proud to be associated with the York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. It is good entertainment, family-oriented, and a positive way to bring thousands of people to the City of York. Everyone gets to be Irish for a day!” Kimman's supports the parade through donations of gift certificates for fundraisers and also has raffle tickets available for purchase to benefit the parade.
The parade is organized by the York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, Inc., an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization. This is the 12th year the group has organized the parade, which has grown dramatically since the City of York relinquished responsibility of the event in January 1999.
The parade is funded by corporate sponsors and a variety of fundraising initiatives:
• An annual raffle, which features ten prize packages this year
• Limited edition commemorative t-shirts (advance orders now being accepted)
• An annual Irish-themed auction featuring a variety of Irish- and pub-related items, concert and festival tickets, Irish books and music, and more (to be held at Sam & Tony's Celebrations Banquet Hall on Sunday, February 21)
• An Irish buffet dinner to be held on Sunday, March 7, at Sam & Tony's Celebrations Banquet Hall featuring music by the York-based band Irish Blessing.
• Set the Table, a meal assembly business located in East York, has offered to donate 10% of their sales during the entire month of March when the parade is mentioned.
Information on these fundraisers is available at www.YorkSaintPatricksDayParade.org.
Shamrock sponsor: MediaOnePA (York Daily Record/York Sunday News, The York Dispatch)
Band sponsors: abc27 WHTM, GGS Information Services, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Sundance Vacations, Susquehanna Real Estate, York Traditions Bank
Irish dance sponsors: Annie Bailey's Irish Pub and Restaurant, First Capital Federal Credit Union, Glatfelter Insurance Group, Penn State York, Rite Aid Pharmacy, and The York Water Company
Leprechaun sponsors: Children's Dental Centre of York, Colony Papers, Rep. Eugene DePasquale, Downtown Inc, Inside Out Creative, PeoplesBank, Chris Reilly, and Susquehanna Pipes and Drums
For more information, visit www.YorkSaintPatricksDayParade.org or call (717) 578-0146. You can also follow the parade on Twitter (YorkStPatParade) and become a Fan on Facebook.
Complete details on the parade, pre- and post-parade entertainment, merchant promotions, and related events will be updated online on a regular basis as the parade date nears. A parade route map, which shows nearby parking options, is also available for downloading.
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Paul Kilker Named Grand Marshal of
27th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Paul Kilker has been named Grand Marshal of the 27th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, to be held Saturday, March 13, 2010, along Market Street in downtown York.
Born in Reading, PA, and having grown up in Williamsport, PA, Paul Kilker is owner and president of GGS Information Services, a local company he founded in 1988 and which today is a leading global provider of technical information services to major equipment manufacturers.
Paul has lived in the York area since 1987 with his wife Lynn and they are the parents of a son (Jon) and a daughter (Laurie).
Paul's mother, Rea McKeon, was born in Blakely, PA, with her grandparents coming from County Cork, Ireland.
Paul's father's parents hailed from County Mayo and were married on-board ship as they traveled to America. They settled in Carbondale, PA, where he was a coal miner and she raised ten children.
Paul graduated from Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY, with a BA degree in history in 1971 and graduated from Catholic University, Washington, DC in 1974 with a Master’s Degree in philosophy. He completed additional studies at American University in Washington DC.
Prior to starting GGS, Paul served in senior management positions at Datacomp and AMTEC, where he was Executive Vice President responsible for aerospace and automotive operations. During this period, AMTEC produced the GE TOPS (Task Oriented Publication System) for GE Aircraft Engines technical manuals as well as publication services for McDonnell-Douglas, Saab-Fairchild, GE Industries, Garrett Turbine, Mack Trucks, Inc., Allied-Bendix, Volvo Trucks, and SAS Airlines.
Paul was recognized for his business skills in June 2002, when he was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for Central Pennsylvania. This honor was sponsored by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute, The NASDAQ Stock Market and USA TODAY. Sponsors of the local competition included Citizens Bank, the Central Penn Business Journal, Clear Channel Worldwide, and the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania.
Today with nearly 30 years of technical information management experience directly related to database publishing, Paul heads a company with seven offices throughout the world and more than 400 team members.
GGS has been widely recognized as among the "Best Places To Work in Pennsylvania" in both 2002 and 2005, and honored as a Finalist in the Central Penn Business Journal's "Business of the Year" awards competition in 2006 and 2009.
GGS has been a co-sponsor of the York Saint Patrick's Day Parade for several years, often with a group of employees marching and riding in the parade. Paul himself has driven his green convertible in the parade (for a bit of trivia, the car was previously owned by actor Danny Kaye).
Paul also serves on the boards of York Traditions Bank, the York County chapter of the American Red Cross, and The Marist Brothers.
Mike Kochenour, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of York Traditions Bank, said, “Paul is an extraordinary individual driven by his foundation of strong personal and family values. Combining those values with his entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding leadership skills has positioned him for great success as a Global Business and Local Community Leader. Heritage and rich traditions are important to him and the fact that his grandparents hailed from Ireland make him a perfect choice to serve as Grand Marshal this year!”
A strong supporter of the local York community, the Kilkers over the years have supported such community organizations as the American Red Cross, the YMCA, the YWCA, the north York chapter of Rotary International, the York County Food Bank, The Salvation Army, The United Way, The ARC, The Special Olympics, The York College of Pennsylvania, the Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania, the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the Cultural Alliance of York County, and many other local organizations.
Joanne Riley, President of the Cultural Alliance of York County, and a parade committee member, shares that Paul is "A fine example of a man whose business invests in helping the community."
Mary Yeaple, parade committee chairperson, summarized: "The York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is honored to have Paul Kilker leading the parade this year, and salutes him for his many contributions to our community."
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York Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee
P.O. Box 1043, York PA 17405-1043
phone 717-578-0146 ~ fax 717-854-6585 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org