Although Boardman is home to the family that owns the San Francisco 49ers, it will host a parade with a grand marshal with close ties to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
James E. Rooney, president of AMTV and son of Pittsburgh Steeler Chairman Dan Rooney, will be grand marshal of the 35th annual Mahoning Valley St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Dan Rooney also served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2012.
The theme of the parade is “Shamrocks of Steel,” in part to honor the Rooney family, but also to recognize the Valley’s history, said Robb Kale, parade treasurer.
“It has a dual meaning. It is more of a tribute to our roots and also continued growth, with steel coming back in the area,” Kale said, mentioning V&M Star, which produces steel pipes for the gas and oil industry.
The parade will step off at 1 p.m. March 10 and proceed north on Market Street from McClurg Road to Southwoods Avenue, with the reviewing stand in front of Johnny’s Restaurant, 8000 Market St.
The event draws 25,000 to 30,000 spectators, organizers said. It’s one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in Ohio.
“I just think it’s a great opportunity for families to come out and support the Irish organizations and the community,” Kale said. “It’s a great parade and a great time.”
Last year, the parade had about 190 entries. Information on how to be a part of this year’s parade is online at mvstpatrickparade.com and there’s still time to enter, he said.
Trophies will be awarded for Best of Parade and Best Irish Theme. Other judging categories are Best Themed Float, Best Band, Best Pipe Band, Best Drum Line, Best Marching Unit, Best Novelty Unit and Best Color Guard.
In addition to the grand marshal, other individuals who will be honored are: Bill Leskovec, The Ockerman Award; James McGuinness, the Bill Cleary Award; and Daniel Becker, Our Lord Mayor of Kilkenny.
The parade is sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Irish Organizations, Clear Channel Radio, 21 WFMJ-TV and The Vindicator.