CLEVELAND - At 1:04 p.m. on March 17, the annual Cleveland St. Patrick's Day parade, Ohio's oldest parade, steps off to celebrate all things Irish.
This year's parade features 125 marching units and more than 10,000 participants. As usual, it is organized by The United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland, a group of 27 Irish organizations who work to put the parade on ever year.
The parade begins at East 18th and Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The route is the same as last year, and once again, due to construction on Public Square, that area is not included in the viewing or marching area.
Each year, a Grand Marshall is chosen to preside over the Parade. This is an honorary title given to a man "usually in his senior years, who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the Irish Activities in Cleveland." This recognition has been part of the ceremony since 1935. This year's Grand Marshal is Jack Coyne.
Since 1963, a "Mother of the Year" has also been recognized. This honor is given to "a woman whose life has reflected credit on the Irish Nationality, and whose example has been a source of inspiration to the community." This year, Bridget McIntyre has been given that honor.