The Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is made up of several dedicated individuals who volunteer their time and efforts to bring a fabulous parade to Raleigh each March. The Parade is supported by volunteer donations of time and talents as well as money and in kind from many individuals and businesses.
The expenses to put on the parade are many, so please consider giving a donation or becoming a sponsor!
The Committee members are thankful for all support!
The parade started in 1983 with a dozen or so enthusiastic Irish-Americans marching down Wilmington St. to the delight and curiosity of downtown residents, merchants and shoppers. The parade was organized initially by John McIntyre and Gail Massari. John and Gail kept the parade going and growing until 1988 when John was transferred to Germany. Prior to leaving for Germany they asked Raleigh's Friends of Ireland (FOI) organization to continue the work they started. The FOI board agreed to organize the parade. Frank Mellage became involved with the parade at that time. He served on the Parade committee from 1989-1992 and became Chairman of the committee for the 1993 St. Patrick's Day Parade. In 2000 an independent Raleigh Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee was formed with members from other local Irish organizations. Frank continued as Committee Chair until 2012, and now the Chair is held by Dianne Enright who served on the Committee under Frank since 2001. The 2023 Parade will be the 39th!
Grand Marshal 2023
The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce the 2023 Parade Grand Marshal, Sandra Holland.
Sandra moved to Cary in 2007 with her husband, Glenn and three sons, Seamus, Cormac and Aidan from Kilkenny, Ireland. Sandra quickly became a prominent member of the Irish-American community in The Triangle.
Sandra has been instrumental in growing the Raleigh Cú Chulainn Gaelic Athletic Association. She has been involved in coaching and mentoring players, as well as forming a Camogie team (women's hurling).
About two years ago, Sandra also started a group called "Put the Kettle On", which is a social group for women who grew up in Ireland.
As a personal trainer, U-Fit with Sandra is her own business helping people with their fitness goals.
Past Grand Marshals
2022 David Ira Wood III, Actor and Theater Director
2021 Parade cancelled due to Pandemic
2020 Parade cancelled due to Pandemic
2019 Don Schwenneker, Meteorologist ABC 11 Eyewitness News
2018 Bill Leslie, WRAL Newscaster and Celtic Musician
2017 Annie Nice, Tir na nOg
2016 Kelly McGrath O'Doherty, NC Rose of Tralee Director
2015 Jerry Parnell, Lead Piper
2014 John McGrath, Raleigh Fire Chief
2013 Frank Mellage, Former Parade Director
2012 Nancy McFarlane, Raleigh Mayor
2011 Ed Cody, Raleigh Humanitarian
2010 Bill Reh, NBC 17 Meteorologist
2009 Tom O'Brien, NC State University Football Coach
2008 Harry Patrick Dolan, Raleigh Police Chief
2007 Debra Morgan, WRAL Anchor/Reporter
2006 Richard H. Moore, NC State Treasurer
2005 Steve McLaurin, McLaurin Parking
2004 Bill Gaines, NBC 17 Anchor/Reporter
2003 Charles Meeker, Raleigh Mayor
2002 Jane Perlov, Raleigh Police Chief
2001 Sharon Delaney, NBC 17 Anchor/Reporter
2000 Paul Coble, Raleigh Mayor
1999 Kieran J. Shanahan, Raleigh City Council
1998 Donna Gregory, NBC 17 Anchor/Reporter
1997 Sylvia Wiggins, Helping Hand Mission Director
1996 Pam Saulsby, WRAL Anchor/Reporter
1995 Tom Fetzer, Raleigh Mayor
1994 Fred Heineman, Raleigh Police Chief
1993 David Allen, Fox Anchor/Reporter
1992 John McIntyre, Parade Founder
What They're Saying
I had no problem parking and the parade was very unique. I loved all the pups and cars. The dance groups and bands were great too.
Parking was a breeze. Parade was great, people friendly, not too crowded. Entire family had a great time. Definitely attending next year 🍀
(From cancelling in 2020 due to the pandemic)
Thank you for all of your hard work in advance of the event. Our entire family has attended every year and although we will miss the event, we certainly understand.
We love this parade!