SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade Committee announced the 2023 St. Patrick’s Parade theme and Grand Marshal at Kitty Hoynes on 301 West Fayette Street in Syracuse. (You can watch the announcement in the video player above)
Members of the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade Committee and residents of Syracuse came to Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub at 10:00 a.m. to hear what’s new for the 41st St. Patrick’s Parade, the 2023 theme, the new Grand Marshal, Gael of the Year and all things Parade Weekend.
The 2013 parade will start at 12:00 p.m. on Nancy Duffy Lane (South Salina Street) in Syracuse on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
The 2023 St. Patrick’s Parade theme is “Running Through Tipperary”
The Irish people are known for roving from the rocky roads of Dublin to the four-mile loop of Tipperary Hill’s own Shamrock Run!
On March 11, 2023, the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade will walk through that history of wandering and celebrate the strong communities that the Irish and others built in Syracuse when their travels brought them here.
The 2023 theme celebrates the Irish tradition of rambling and roving and vibrant communities the Irish and other immigrants, past and present, have established in Syracuse.
This year the Parade is also embarking on its 16th 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 1,060,000 meals for children and families in the community.
For more information on the parade, visit www.syracusestpatricksparade.org
2023 Grand Marshal: Eileen Murray
The title Grand Marshal is given annually to an Irish American of Syracuse who has made a significant contribution to the entire community. The Parade Committee is honored to recognize Eileen Murray as the 2023 Grand Marshal of the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade.
Murray’s Tipperary Hill dedication is strong. She moved into the neighborhood in 1990 and bought a house there in 1994. Elaine married Martin Murray at St. Patrick’s Church in 2015 and the same year she was Grand Marshall of Coleman’s Green Beer Sunday Parade.
Murray is also one of the founders of Tipperary Hill’s Shamrock Run which supports the Tipperary Hill Neighborhood Association and the St. Patrick Hunger Project with vital funds.
Murray came up with the idea when the Tipperary Hill Neighborhood Association (founded in 2002), was looking for a way to raise money and her running routes inspired her to suggest the fundraising run.
She organized a committee of 12 including Fleet Feet, Syracuse Track Club, and the Strathmore Run, and organized the first Shamrock Run. In the initial year, the committee hoped to find 250 runners willing to brave the early March weather and were delighted to register 900.
The Shamrock Run is a 4-mile race that is run through the hilly street of the traditionally Irish westside neighborhood, Tipperary Hill, annually in early March. The race has become a well-loved community tradition that attracts upwards of 3,000 runners.
“We questioned whether we would find runners willing to take the chance and brave the cold in March. It turns out it was just what they were looking for after a cold, snowy winter. The Shamrock Run is the promise of spring and all things new. The Shamrock Run is also the opportunity to come together again and see familiar faces that make you smile,” said Murray about the first run and its progress since.
2023 Gael of the Year: Ralph Rotella
All of that running would not be possible without shoes in good condition, which is why the Gael of the Year is Ralph Rotella.
Rotella is the owner of Discount Shoe Repair in Downtown Syracuse whose business has been a fixture of Downtown Syracuse since he first opened it in 1975.
Born in Calabria, Italy, Ralph emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 16 in 1970. They settled on the North Side of Syracuse, where they had family and soon after, Ralph began working in his uncle’s shoe repair store with his father.
Soon after emigrating to Syracuse, Ralph opened a shoe repair store of his own in the University Building in Downtown in 1975. Then in 1980, Ralph became an American citizen after extensive study and preparation.
Though his shoe repair store moved within the building several times, it remains in the University Building now on the ground level at 114 E Washington St, the intersections of Washington St. and Bank Alley.
In 2010, Ralph started his well-known Shoe Drive where he collects thousands of shoes every holiday season and donates them to the homeless and people in need through the Rescue Mission.
He was inspired to start this effort when he saw a homeless man outside his shop with his toes showing through his shoes. In 2021, he collected an incredible 37,350 pairs of shoes.
Ralph is now collecting shoes at his store through December 13th.
NewsChannel 9 streamed the announcement Wednesday morning and will once again air the parade live starting at Noon on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Upcoming Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade Committee Events
- Dec. 11: Hunger Project Holiday Raffle event, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Nibsy’s Irish Pub, 201 Ulster St. Fundraiser for Hunger Project, all proceeds benefit the hungry, raffles
- Feb. 28: Parade applications due from marching units; registration opens on Jan 1st at www.syracusestpatricksparade.org
- March 4: 18th Annual Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run, Burnet Park, Syracuse, 4-mile run at 11 a.m. with a fun run at 10 a.m. Participants and spectators are asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate or to make a monetary donation to benefit the Hunger Project. For information, go to www.tiphillrun.com.
- March 10: Painting of the Green Stripe, 9:30 am. Grand Marshal Gala with cocktails, food stations, and entertainment at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, 6 p.m.
- March 11: Parade Day! Mass at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, downtown Syracuse, 10 a.m.; 41st Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade, noon, downtown Syracuse. The parade steps off at Clinton Square and heads south along Salina Street. After the parade, the Marriott Syracuse Downtown will host a party featuring Irish music and dance. NewsChannel 9 WSYR will again provide live coverage of the parade from Noon until 3 pm.