Northampton St. Patrick’s Association to hold awards dinner Feb. 23

  • The Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band progresses down the street March 18, 2018, during the 67th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Holyoke. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 2/9/2019 12:17:35 AM

NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton St. Patrick’s Association Marshal, Dr. Caitlyn Shea Butler, and Brennan Award Winner Loraine Weimann will be marching in the 68th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The Northampton St. Patrick’s Association, which is known for its work in the community, supports Irish culture, grant scholarships, and hosts an annual toy drive during the holiday season.

The parade will be held on Sunday, March 17 at 11:30 a.m. and begins on Northampton Street and ends on High Street in Holyoke. It lasts about three hours.

Northampton St. Patrick’s Association President Meggan Gilboy said the association has a lot of preparation to do before the parade.

“From now until the day of the parade we are going to be very busy,” she said.

The association has more than 200 members and will have an awards reception dinner on Feb. 23 to honor this year’s parade marshal and recipient of the Brennan Award. Butler and Weimann will receive sashes that are traditionally worn in the parade. The women, along with their families, have their own section in the parade march.

The Brennan Award is given to a member of the association who has contributed to the association throughout the years and deserves to be acknowledged for their hard work. The award is named for the late James Brennan, a founding member of the association and past marshal. The marshal is awarded to a member of Irish descent who has helped the association as well as other organizations and events in the community.

At the dinner, the marshall from the previous year will pass down a shillelagh to Butler. The shillelagh is engraved with the names of all of the previous marshals. Butler will march with it at the parade.

Each year, the Northampton contingent in the parade has a different theme. “It’s a secret,” said Gilboy of this year’s theme. “They (people) will just have to come out and see.”

The Feb. 23 awards dinner will be held at the Northampton Elks. People are encouraged to purchase tickets to support the association. There will be a choice of traditional Irish foods such as corned beef or white fish.

The tickets are available through Patrick Diggins. Anyone interested in attending should contact Diggins at 413-531-3839 or send an email to Sean O’connor at

The group also hosts a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at Hotel Northampton on the Friday before the parade.

As part of a weekend-long celebration, the 43rd annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Road Race will take place on Saturday, March 16. It features a 2-mile walk as well as a 10k race for runners over and under the age of 18.

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