Full honoree bios and theme description available here
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, whose office has provided continuing support for the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade since she took office in 2010, will serve as grand marshal of the 35th annual parade March 11.
The honor for Miner was announced, along with other parade news, Wednesday Jan. 18, during a news conference at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant.
The 2017 Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade will step off in Clinton Square at noon March 11 and follow its traditional route south along Nancy Duffy Lane (otherwise known as Salina Street). The parade typically lasts about three hours and features bands, Irish dancers and hundreds of marchers and floats representing community organizations and businesses.
“Through her leadership, Mayor Miner has graciously helped us make this wonderful event possible,” said parade President Janet Higgins. “We couldn’t do it without the help of myriad city employees, including the police, DPW and the parks department. We are tremendously grateful for the city’s enthusiastic support of this community celebration, and no one embodies that cooperative spirit more than Mayor Miner.”
The Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade Committee noted that during Miner’s tenure, several city schools have been renovated, efforts are underway to improve childhood literacy, downtown Syracuse is experiencing a period of tremendous development in both the commercial and residential sectors, and the Connective Corridor has been completed. In addition, the city has achieved A or A1 bond ratings and established a $15 minimum wage for city employees.
Serving as Gael of the Year for the parade will be Michele Jordan, executive director of the Interreligious Food Consortium (IFC). Jordan has led the IFC since 2002 and had helped supply countless meals to those in need in the Syracuse community. The IFC is an umbrella agency for more than 70 food pantries and meal sites throughout Onondaga County.
Higgins said the choice of Jordan highlights the parade’s affiliation with the St. Patrick’s Hunger Project, which collects food and funds every year to help feed the hungry.
“The parade is not just an opportunity to have fun,” Higgins said. “It’s also a charitable organization that gives back to the community. Last year, we set a record and raised $20,000 for that purpose. It’s a way to honor the history of so many Irish Americans who fled famine to seek a better life in America and help people locally who are facing the same challenges.
The theme for the 2017 is a nod to the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal — “From Eire to Erie: Celebrating the Canal’s Bicentennial.” The parade poster is the work of local artist Casey Landerkin.
Said Higgins: “When construction began on the Erie Canal in July 1817, it sparked the arrival of Irish workers who soon became a major part of the workforce. They settled in communities along the canal, raising their families and permanently altering the landscape of upstate New York – physically, economically and culturally. This year, in our 35th annual parade, we will once again stage the event at the site of the Erie Canal with scores of marching units lining up along Erie Boulevard. We will march in recognition of our forebears’ accomplishments and the contributions they made to connecting us to each other and linking our community with the world at large.”