- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Sunny skies and warmer weather were a welcome backdrop for yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade as it made its way past the Washington Monument and the Ellipse behind the White House.

As in the past 35 years, the 2-hour parade included marching bands, bagpipers in kilts, dancers, military marchers, uniformed police officers, firefighters and floats. And lots of green.

The theme of this year’s celebration was “Volunteers Weave Communities Together.”

Nancy McKelvey, chief nurse for the American Red Cross for 10 years, was the grand marshal. Mrs. McKelvey, a graduate of Johns Hopkins Nursing School, the University of Pennsylvania and Catholic University, is in charge of about 35,000 nurses and 1.3 million volunteers.

Gael of the Year, given for outstanding community service, was awarded to Alice McDermont, 53, a fiction writer whose grandparents were all born in Ireland. She was honored as a “master at capturing Irish-Catholic American suburban life.” Her books include “After This,” “That Night,” and “Charming Billy.”

Appropriately, Mrs. McKelvey and Mrs. McDermont each have sons named Patrick.

The parade, in which nearly 100 organizations participated, traveled from Seventh Street to 17th Street Northwest along Constitution Avenue.

The first D.C. St. Patrick’s Day celebration in 1972 had just 300 marchers and one band that paraded from Dupont Circle four blocks down Massachusetts Avenue Northwest to a statue of Irish orator and patriot Robert Emmet in Sheridan Circle.

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