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Dignitaries

We have many dignitaries who are chosen annually and ride in the parade including Mr. Pat, Miss Shamrock, the Distinguished Irish Woman, the Grand Marshal, the Celebrity Grand Marshal, and the Honorary Irish Person.
We know the public is excited to see them and we thank them for generously donating their time!

2019 Dignitaries
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Mr. Pat: The king figure of the parade, Mr. Pat embodies the spirit of Saint Patrick's Day. Watch for him at our events. 
2019 Mr. Pat:  Tom Whaley
 

 
 
Distinguished Irish Woman: The Distinguished Irish Woman is, of course, Irish. She has also done outstanding work in her field and in the community. Each year the Association recognizes a hard working Irish woman (is there any other kind?) from the community. 

2019 Distinguished Irish Woman:   Mary Beth Yarrow
 

 
Mary Beth (McCarthy) Yarrow is a producer of social and political documentary films and television productions. Originally from Willmar, Minnesota, she began her professional producing career in 1980 with the documentary, THE WILLMAR 8, directed by her good friend and lifelong collaborator, Lee Grant. This Minnesota-centric story portrays eight women bookkeepers and tellers who formed a union and walked off their jobs at The Citizens National Bank, creating the first bank strike in the history of America. She went on to create a series of television productions for HBO, NBC, CBS, and Lifetime Channel along with SIDNEY POITIER: ONE BRIGHT LIGHT, for the AMERICAN MASTERS series. She followed those with the documentary, SEAN O'CASEY: UNDER A COLOURED CAP, a film portrayal for Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) and BBC/NI about the life, work, and legacy of the controversial Irish dramatist, Sean O’Casey. Her current production is GENE McCARTHY: ALONE IN THE LAND OF THE AARDVARKS, a feature-length documentary about her uncle Senator Eugene J McCarthy, due for release in 2019.
Grand Marshal: A guest of honor asked to lead the parade.
 
2019 Grand Marshal: Tim McNiff

A Native Minnesotan, Tim turned an internship at KARE-11 into a career in news and sports broadcasting that spanned more than 25-years. After attending college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and in Minneapolis, Tim became an Emmy Award winning anchor/reporter in Wisconsin, Texas, and Minnesota.  
 
When Tim was 6 or 7 years old, his father (a transplant from Brooklyn) talked his mom (a grudging refugee from Long Island) into loading the five kids into the car and driving from White Bear Lake to downtown St. Paul for what would be Tim's first St. Patrick's Day parade. Tim didn't get his next opportunity to attend the parade until he was 18 and could write his own note to get out of school. Tim's favorite memories of those early parades include the blaring music, people marching with banners, noisemakers, and more than anything else, everyone seemed to be really, REALLY happy!  

Tim has been married to his wonderful Irish wife, Amy (O'Rourke) for over 30 years and together they have two daughters, Bridget ("Stong Woman" in Gaelic) and Haley ("Ingenious"). As a family, they've carried on the tradition of attending the parade, wearing green, and enjoying a Guinness (or three) every year.  Tim is a proud St. Paulite and is excited and extremely proud to represent the McNiffs, the O'Rourke's, and the Irish community in the 2019 St. Patrick's Day parade!   
Celebrity Grand Marshal: A celebrity guest of honor asked to lead the parade
2019 Celebrity Grand Marshal: Dennis Hall
 
 
Dennis Hall has served with the St Paul Fire Department for the past 25 years and served the citizens of St Paul with pride, working in every neighborhood station throughout the city. He is a Captain on the Fire Department and a St Paul Firefighters Local 21 Chair Officer.

Dennis has had a lifelong investment in values the St Patrick’s Day Association celebrates. The values of service to his community, devotion to his family of five children and seven grandchildren and the love of his Irish heritage was learned from his father who was a St Paul Pipefitter for 40 years. His father’s family can trace its roots from Sixmilebridge in County Clare. Dennis has been thrilled to be involved in the Miss Shamrock candidates’ interviews and taking part in the greatest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World. Being the Celebrity Grand Marshall, this year comes with great honor.
Honorary Irishman: Saint Pat's Day may be an Irish holiday, but it's a day for all cultures to enjoy. Each year the Association names a non-Irish member of the community as its Honorary Irishman. While this person is not necessarily Irish, he embodies the spirit and character of the Irish and the holiday.
 
2019 Honorary Irishman:    Father Dan Haugen
 
                                                                                                                                                                
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