In her eighth and final year as Syracuse Mayor, Stephanie Miner was named as the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Parade by the parade committee to thank her for the support of the event under her administration.
Miner spent a portion of Friday morning painting the traditional green stripe along the parade route in preparation for Saturday’s activities.
As the parade date approaches, Miner talked with NewsChannel 9’s Dan Cummings, saying how proud she is of her Irish-American ancestry.
“My maternal great grandfather worked on the barge canal, I still have his union card have had it for a long time, so there’s also a sense of symmetry that this year’s theme is about the Erie Canal, and my paternal side goes way back to coming through Ellis Island. I joke with people that all I have to do is walk by a light bulb and I get sunburn, so you know where my heritage is,” Miner said.
She said she knows well the courage it took for her ancestors to get here.
“My family was kicked out of Ireland or left voluntarily because they were starving or not allowed to worship in the way they wanted to. They weren’t taught to read, and to escape violence, and there were people here in Syracuse and in Upstate New York who welcomed my family here. It’s amazing to me when I think about what people went through to emigrate, to leave everything they knew, all of their family and friends, to go into the great unknown, particularly in those times, knowing they would never see some of their family again or their friends. it’s a tremendous risk they took, to make sure their offspring would have a better life, and I sit here today because there were people in my family two and three generations ago who said they were going to do that,” Miner said.
She says this time of year is a time to be thankful and remember the sacrifices made by others to allow her to be in the position of mayor, and to “allow all of us to be the city we are today.”
NewsChannel 9 will have live coverage of the parade starting at noon. Dan Cummings and Christie Casciano will host. We will also be streaming the parade on LocalSYR.com.