SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Happy St. Patricks Day! Sioux Falls will celebrate this Saturday with its St. Patricks Day Parade.
In this week’s Flashback Friday, we take you back to 1982 when one man in Salem brought the parade to the people.
It may not be as extravagant, but Salem’s parade is special. It comes to you, you don’t go to it. And it comes to you in the form of an 88-year-old, full-blooded, and darn proud to be so Irishman.
“I’m a full-blooded Irishman, I want all to know, by God!” Harry Garry said.
The man many Salem residents call Mr. Irish is actually Harry Garry. For about 10 years he’s meandered down main in this rather garish outfit, distributing a lot of Irish cheer, a little Irish luck, and 24 dozen Irish cookies.
Each acquaintance gets one, but if you’re a Democrat you might get two, and apparently, the townspeople love every bit of it.
“I was gonna quit, I’m getting to be an old guy, I was gonna stop this, they say you got to keep doing it,” Garry said.
So he keeps on doing it and doing so in style. And when a cookie doesn’t satisfy a sometimes demanding public, Harry offers more.
He’s never been to Ireland, but his grandparents were born there. To him, there is nothing finer than being 100% Irish. But he does realize that not everyone can be.
Steve O’Cyphers: “What do you think of people that don’t have any Irish in them?”
Garry: “It’s just their misfortunes!”
Steve O’Cyphers, KELOLAND News, Salem.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sioux Falls will take place Saturday along Phillips Avenue. It starts with the painting of the shamrock in front of Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Gifts.
This year’s grand marshal is Dick Sweetman who has dual citizenship in Ireland. The parade will then run along Phillips Avenue from 13th street to 5th Street. Nearby roads will be closed at 1:30 — the parade starts at 2 p.m.
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