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March 7 Near Array West Alex: The 2020 Ballyshaners St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria!March 5th, 2020
Founded in 1980, The Ballyshaners, Inc. exists “for the explicit purpose of organizing a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town, Alexandria.” With the tagline of “Promoting Irish Awareness,” the group continues in that endeavor now, three decades later, with the 2020 Ballyshaners St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria. The term Ballyshaners means “Old Towners” in Gaelic, a fitting tribute to such a dedicated organization. Fueled by advertising, sponsorships, donations, and fundraisers, The Ballyshaners put together the parade each year on the first Saturday of March, falling this year on March 7.
Of course, every parade needs a fitting grand marshal! The Ballyshaners have bestowed the title for 2020 upon John Brennan, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, and an original owner of Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant and Bar. Brennan will be formally installed as grand marshal the evening before the parade, at the Grand Marshal Dinner at 6:30 pm.
On the morning of the parade, be sure to arrive early to enjoy the Fun Dog Show, hosted by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA). Owners will parade their pets in their Irish finest, competing in three categories—Most St. Paddy’s Spirit, Best Human/Canine Lookalike, and Most Creative—with proceeds benefiting the AWLA.