This year's parade we were blessed with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s! This was the first year the parade had online registration.
We are pleased to announce that this year's Parade Queen is Kayleigh Vinson! She is currently a Junior at Bob Jones High School. Congratulations Kayleigh!
We are happy to announce Marty Connors as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 Huntsville St. Patrick's Day Parade! Check out Marty's bio below and learn about some of the great organizations he is involved with.
Chairman of the Birmingham Irish Cultural Society which has sponsored a dinner around St. Patrick's Day since 1981, 31consecutive years. The charities over the years have included, the Literacy Council, Birmingham Athletic Partnership, Heart Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Kid One Transport.
The Birmingham Irish Cultural Society also formed the first parade in Birmingham, following the great Huntsville tradition, since 1986 (26 years) and the organization still leads the parade each year. As a result of the party and parade the BICS has proudly introduced central Alabama to a number of emerging traditional music and dance organizations as well as two free concerts by the University of Notre Dame Ensemble for local school children.
Marty is 4th generation from Peterswell, a small town in County Galway. He has made numerous trips back to Ireland over the years.
In April of last year he hosted a small trade mission to Ireland as he was Chairman of the Birmingham International Center's Salute to the Emerald Isle. While there Marty was a special guest to the Northern Irish government (Bureau Chief Norman Houston) and was invited to watch the government at Stormont pass final elements of the 1998 Good Friday Accords.
The Alabama Development office will be hosting another mission to Ireland in May.
Today Marty works closely with the Irish Development Authority and Irish Consul General Paul Gleeson (Atlanta Consulate) in promoting trade between our two countries. Ireland's low corporate tax rate, 12.5% and it's research and development tax credits, 25% makes Ireland a particularity attractive pathway into the European Union.
Marty is the principal of M.J. Connors Consulting a government affairs and business development group and was the former Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
You can learn more about the Birmingham Irish Cultural Society, it's history and it's humor at www.birminghamirish.org.