SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The countdown to St. Patrick's Day begins with the announcement of the Grand Marshal for the 31st St. Patrick's Parade in Syracuse. This year's Grand Marshal will be Thomas Maroney.
The big announcement was made at Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub and Restaurant Thursday morning.
Maroney graduated from the SU College of Law and has been a professor in the department for many years. He has served in a variety of roles, from Assistant State Attorney General to a volunteer fire police officer. Maroney is also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and has been Parade Marshal for more than 15 years.
"I know a lot of the folk who've been Marshals, the Grand Marshals and they're a distinguished group of people, a lot of them friends of mine. And so I'm delighted to be in their company," said Maroney.
The Gael of the Year was also announced, being Thomas Slater. He has done a lot for the Syracuse community, especially at his position of executive director of the Food Bank of Central New York for 18 years.
"I've been to the parade every year and I really enjoy the atmosphere and the camaraderie, but I never saw myself as being honored by the committee so I was overwhelmed with emotion," said Slater.
The theme of this year's parade is "Come Into the Parlor: The Warmth of Irish Hospitality."