Syracuse’s 38th St. Patrick’s Parade will set off on March 14, 2020 with Grand Marshals John Francis McCarthy and Sean Kirst.
The theme of the 2020 St. Patrick’s Parade is “20/20: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.” The theme honors McCarthy and Kirst’s dual legacies as CNY storytellers in their respective mediums. It is also a nod to the proud history of Irish and Irish-American artists.
Sean Kirst is an award-winning journalist who has been writing in Upstate New York for more than 45 years. A Native of Buffalo, NY, Kirst worked at Syracuse newspapers for 27 years, most of that time as a columnist for The Post-Standard. He is the recipient of many journalism awards, including the Ernie Pyle Award, given annually to one American journalist for writing about the dreams and struggles of everyday people. Kirst’s The Soul of Central New York, a collection of stories and observations about greater Syracuse published in 2016, became the fastest-selling book in the 76-year history of the Syracuse University Press.
John Francis McCarthy is a renowned photographer and Tipperary Hill native. McCarthy’s photography of the Finger Lakes spans five decades; he is particularly well known for his stunning landspace photography in the CNY region and Ireland. McCarthy’s photography has been included in juried shows, museums and other venues including Utah’s Bountiful Art Center, the National Press Club, Washington, D.C, LeMoyne College, Schweinfurth Museum, Auburn, Image City, Rochester and to compliment a visit from Irish writer Frank McCourt in Oswego. In March 2020 through April 5th, John’s Irish images will be on display in Albany’s Repertory Theater during a production of Frank McCourt’s, “The Irish and How They Got That Way.”
The Parade will also recognize John Tumino as Gael of the Year. Tumino is the founder of In My Father’s Kitchen, a nonprofit that assists people who are homeless through direct street outreach. In My Father’s Kitchen launched a new initiative, “Hire Ground,” which is a day labor program that provides people who are homeless with temporary jobs as an alternative to panhandling.
The Parade is embarking on the 13th year of the St. Patrick Hunger Project. The Hunger Project raises funds and collects food for local food pantries to fight hunger in CNY. To date, the Hunger Project has provided over 650,000 meals for children and families in the community.
The parade will begin at 12 p.m. on March 14, marching through downtown Syracuse along Nancy Duffy Lane (South Salina Street).