The Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day Association traces is founding back to Sean and Judith Clerkin's desire to take Irish Pride and give back. Established in 1969 the organization raises money through the sale of parade buttons and beads for the Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day parade, with all the proceeds going back to support the American Diabetes Association. This is a 100% volunteer organization with no salaried members.
The first St. Patrick's Day Association button was created in 1970 to promote spirit and raise money for The American Diabetes Association. Now, you can buy button and bead set for $5.00 each to help raise money for Camp Needlepoint.
Help Camp Needlepoint. Buy a button!
Chandler Keating - 2016
As a young professional, it is important for Chandler to try new things and continue to explore her interests and passions. Blessed with a large, loving, supportive family-most of whom live in Minnesota who she is lucky to see regularly. Coming from a competitive swimming background made it hard to take time off and travel. In the future Chandler would love to spend time in Europe (we hope Ireland!). Her long term plans are to go back to school for a graduate or law degree. Like any your driven person she is still delving into exactly what she wants to specialize while currently enjoying her real career world.
Words Chandler lives by:
Overall, it is very vital in life to do what makes you happy and spend time with those you care about.
“Better get busy living, or get busy dying”
Want to be the next Ms. Blarney?
The M.S.P.D.A. is searching for candidates to run for the 2017 St.Patrick’s Day title of Ms. Blarney.
Qualifications include that you are a female, 21 years of age, married or single and “Irish by choice” (not necessarily by birth). If you wish to apply for Ms. Blarney,please fill in the following information or call us at (763) 234-0669 for an application to be mailed to you.
Calling all Ms Blarney's!
We would love to have all previous Ms. Blarney winners
participate in the 49th Annual St Patrick's Day Parade this year.
Please call us or click here to contact us with further information.
Blarney Princesses 2016
Wee Leprechaun Contest
An exciting costume contest for our Wee Leprechaun's ages 2 to 8 years.
The wee Leprechaun Contest is a fun FREE family oriented costume contest broken down into three categories: Ages 2-3, 4-5, and 6-7. Prizes will be awarded to the male and female in each group that best represent the spirit of St. Patrick's Day. An overall male and female winner will also be named. A family category will also be judged that may include any participant with any of their family. All contestants and their families are encouraged to walk with us in the Parade!
There is no entry fee but we ask that participants consider bringing a youth item donation to Mary's Place.
Ms. Blarney and the Blarney Princesses personal escorts - The Kilt Bhoys
A rough and tumble group of kind hearted lads who devote their time to assisting Ms. Blarney and her Princesses with whatever they may need whether, transportation, escort, fund raising, laugh, or a pint! A few requirements are a positive disposition on life, kilt on at all times, and a mind toward Irish pride and charity.
Contact CT at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply!
DAYS GONE BY...
The history of the parade dates back to 1969 when Duff’s Bar and the
Bradford’s Pub initiated the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade for
Minneapolis. It was a short caravan between the two pubs, and
ironically, was prompted by friendly jibing of some gentlemen of other
ethnic backgrounds. The first parade consisted of one float, provided by
the Sons and Daughters of Ireland. It was a social event, including wild
members of the Minnesota Vikings Football team riding motorcycles into
Duff’s bar to commemorate the parade.
Since then, the parade has grown to become one of the most celebrated
parades in Minneapolis. It takes the support and dedication of the
community to make this event a dream come true each and every year.
2016 Celebrity Grand Marshall
“Who says you can’t come home again? Kelly is back home in the Twin Cities and working on the FOX 9 Morning News after a stint at our FOX station in Seattle. Kelly grew up in the Como Park neighborhood of St. Paul and her proud parents still live there to this day in her childhood home. You see Kelly weekday mornings anchoring FOX 9’s Morning News and reporting on the some of the biggest national news of the day, which is a passion of hers. Kelly is a big Vikings fan; follow her on Facebook to see some of the goofy garb she wears on game days.”
2016 Parade Grand Marshal
Immigrated to America 25 years ago from Dragheda Ireland, Dermot is the embodiment of the Irish American dream. A proud entrepreneur owning three successful businesses, O 'Donovan's, Jake O'Connor's and Lola's Lake House, Dermot was chosen for his spirit and tenacity in supporting the Irish community and Minneapolis St. Patrick's Day Association. Least we forget the most important factor his wife Laura and two beautiful sons always a moment away from being mentioned.
2015 IRISH-AMERICAN FIREFIGHTER
A Minneapolis Fireman for 26 years.Irish blood comes from his
mother’s side and a bottle of Bushmills.:)
Frank has three lovely children who are the light of his life.
"This award means a lot because of respect for my Irish heritage and my love of parades."
It has been my Frank's dream to have his picture on a bar wall( Keegan’s)
Frank is looking forward to helping Camp Needlepoint this summer and celebrating my favorite holiday March 17th.
2015 IRISH-AMERICAN PEACE OFFICER
Emily started with the Mpls Police Dept. in 1997 and is currently a
Sergeant assigned to homicide division. Emily was in the patrol unit for
10 yrs , then spent time in the gang intelligence unit before being
promoted to her current position. She also spent 3 yrs in the mounted
Sergeant Dunphy’s husband Mpls Police Sergeant Stot Dunphy also has
strong Irish heritage with his family coming from Co Cork in the 1700”s.
Her grandmother’s grandfather came to the US when he was 12 all by
himself. The family story was that he could read and write and that was
a big deal then. The story goes on that first sign that he read was at the
Pope Lumber Co and it said “Irish Catholics Need Not Apply”. Ironic
with the name being POPE ….His two sons later owned a barrel making
company. The family lived in Boston,Ma. until her grandmother moved
away. Her grandmother is a Lynch and her grandfather is Higgins.
She is very proud to say that she spent her 18th birthday in Dublin with
She loves spending St Patrick’s Day with her family with her Mom
making corn beef and cabbage and she says the best soda bread ever.
She even went so far as to have her son Sam born on ST Patrick’s Day.
2015 IRISH-AMERICAN BUSINESS WOMAN
Mary Jo "McNells" Valder
Mary Jo's Irish roots come from her Great-Grandfather James McNellis who left Donegal,Ireland and immigrated to the United States where he
settled in DeGraff,Mn.(and according to her Dad DeGraff was 99% Irish
when he was growing up) Her Grandfather Peter McNellis married her
Grandmother: Loretta Donnelly so that makes her Dad 100% Irish and
with her Mom’s a little bit of Irish she is over half Irish and proud of it.
As the founder of a women’s clothing company, CAbi. Alongside 9
other Founders, along with their president and designer they created
CAbi just over 13 yrs ago. Their vision has always been to effect lives
through relationships. They have been able to do this through their
business opportunity, the CAbi experience and the Heart of CAbi
Foundation. Truly empowering women throughout the world.
She studied elementary education at Bethel College….(now known as
Bethel Univ.) and the Univ. of Minn. She also worked for Northwest
Airlines for 20 yrs as a flight attendant and in the training dept.
Mary Jo has 3 amazing children two sons and one daughter. Her husband and she have been married for 29 years.
2015 IRISH-AMERICAN SPORTS CELEBRITY
My relatives are originally from Castletown of Donegal. Merchants for a
living and they arrived in NY in 1847 on the ship named Niagra out of
Liverpool. The family settled in Rosemount in 1855 and the family still
owns and operates the farm. I grew up in Rosemount,Mn son of Jophn
and Rita McMenomy, I have 4 brothers,Eugene,James Brian and Tim.
I went on to play at the U of M for Jim Wacker and get a European
History Degree. My first head coaching job was in turning around a
Minneapolis Southwest Football program that had not won a game in
3.5 yrs. In the first yr we won three games and by the 4th yr we were 7
and 2. I took the head Football coaching job at DeLaSalle and in the 6
yrs of being at DeLaSalle we have won over 60 games and been to State
The pride of my life is my wife Jessica and our 2 children Quinlan and
Success for me has not been the wins and losses but the impact that I
have had on the players that I have coached. Being Irish is something
that I have been very proud of my entire life. Hearing my name at
ebents makes me proud to not only represent my family past and
present but also my Irish brothers and sisters. Words cannot describe
how much of an honor this is to myself as well as my family.
2015 IRISH-AMERICAN VETERAN
Mike is the second oldest of the 11 children born to Don and Marie
MacDonald. His great grandmother immigrated from Ireland.
In 1968-1969 Mike served a tour of duty in Veitnam
In 1981 Mike took over the duties of Parade Chairman and has been it
He originally got involved with us when he and his sister Monica started
the shamrock face painting (which we still do today)
He are a few of Mike’s accomplishments and contributions to the
Mike and Leanne Combs-Michaelsen created the 1st Chapter of the
Veitnam Veterans Assoc in the state of Mn and has served in many
capacities in that assoc, not the least was president. He currently is the
He also is a board member of the Vietnam Veterans Charities. This is
the group that was responsible for flying the World War ll vets to Wash
DC for their Honor Flights.
He is currently the Pres of the Black Lions Assoc. The Black Lions is the
division of the Big Red1 Regiment that Mike fought in Vietnam. In May
2014 Mike was inducted into the Distinguished Memberof the
Regiment which is the highest honor the US Army gives.
As acting President Mike has the yearly honor of raising the USA Flag in
Canilgny,France. On Memorial Day.
Mike has in the past and continues to be a vital support to veterans and
their families. The hours he volunteers are too many to count.
So it is with great great honor Mike that we would like to name you our
1st Irish/American Veteran.
ST.PATRICK'S DAY COMMEMORATIVE BUTTONS
PROCEEDS GO TO THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOC. AND CAMP NEEDLEPOINT.
The first St. Patrick's Day Association button
was created in 1970 to promote spirit and raise
money for The American Diabetes Association.
Now, you can buy button and bead set for
$5.00 each to help raise money for
AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION
We want to give kids the opportunity to meet other kids just like them as well as help them gain confidence and independence in managing their diabetes.
A CAUSE WORTH CARING FOR!
The American Diabetes Association
FRIENDS of MSPDA