This year’s Holyoke Colleens to reign over 2021 St. Patrick’s Parade

  • South Hadley High School senior Moira McDermott is crowned Grand Colleen of the 2020 Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade by Grand Marshall John Driscoll as 2019 Grand Colleen Lauren Dulude, right, watches. The St. Patrick's Committee of Holyoke Coronation Ball was held at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 3/24/2020 12:47:30 PM

HOLYOKE — If next year’s Holyoke St. Patrick’s Colleens look a lot like this year’s, it’s because they will be.

The 69th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade, canceled March 10 because of the COVID-19 health pandemic, is no longer canceled — it’s merely been postponed to March 21, 2021.

“We understand that many individuals … were incredibly saddened by this decision, but none more so than the 200-plus Parade Committee members who worked all year long to organize the parade, road race and numerous other associated events,” the committee announced in a statement. “After much discussion, the board of directors and the general membership of the Parade Committee have agreed that the best way to move forward is to postpone our 69th Parade until March 2021!”

As a result, this year’s award recipients and Colleens will still have the honor of marching or riding down the streets of Holyoke in the annual parade.

“We have an outstanding slate of award recipients and Colleens for 2020, and we feel strongly that they, along with their families and friends, truly deserve to have that experience,” the committee stated.

“That’s really exciting news,” said Moira McDermott of South Hadley, this year’s Grand Colleen.

The initial decision to cancel the legendary parade erased the opportunity for McDermott and the four other Colleens who make up her court to ride through the streets of the city on a special float.

“It was heartbreaking,” McDermott said. “But I understood.”

When she received word Friday that the show would go on — after a one-year delay — she was thrilled.

“Next year will be better than ever,” she said.

Colleen Haley Dusseault was just as excited.

“Oh wow. Really? That’s such a blessing.”

Emily Couture, who was voted Miss Congeniality along with being designated a Colleen, also was over the moon.

“That’s amazing,” she said when she received word. “I’m so excited. Wow. That’s insane!”

The St. Patrick’s Committee said it will hold over the 2020 award recipients as well as the 2020 Colleens. Parade Committee officers and members of the board of directors, as now constituted, will continue in the same capacities through the 2021 parade season.

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