HCN News & Notes

St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke Names Mary Lynch Grand Marshal of 2024 Parade

HOLYOKE — The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke announced that its 71st grand marshal is Mary Lynch, a Holyoke native and 34-year member of the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke. The grand marshal of the annual parade is the committee’s highest local honor given to a person who has distinguished themselves as a loyal person to their career, family, and Irish ancestry.

Lynch is a graduate of Holyoke Catholic High School, Holyoke Community College, and Westfield State College, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She retired in 2017 as a long-time professor of Early Childhood Education at Holyoke Community College. She also served on several boards, including the Greater Holyoke YMCA and the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. She was honored in 2010 with the Oldershaw Award from the Greater Holyoke YMCA, which is its highest honor given to an individual who has made significant volunteer contributions to the Greater Holyoke community.

“Auntie Mary,” as she’s known to many on the committee, has held many important roles, including chair of the JFK and Memorial Mass, Grand Marshal’s Reception, Coronation Ball, and Awards Dinner. She has also served on the program book and tartan committees, parade coordination, and the board of directors. She was honored with the Rohan Award in 1996 and was a member of the Grand Colleen Court in 1970.

Lynch and her twin brother, Ray Feyre, also have the distinction of being the only set of twins to serve as Grand Marshal of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. Ray led the parade in 2015.

“Mary Lynch is most deserving of this esteemed honor,” said Hayley Dunn, parade president. “Not only has she served on nearly every subcommittee, but she has held several leadership roles and is instrumental in the overall success of the parade. Her calm and friendly demeanor has welcomed many new members, and all look to her guidance each parade weekend. Mary’s love of heritage, family, education, and community makes her the perfect choice for grand marshal.”

Lynch will be honored at the Grand Marshal’s Reception on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. For more details or to purchase tickets to the reception, email Jane Chevalier at tjcheval@comcast.net or Barb Rogers at twinsmommy@aol.com.

The 71st Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2024 and the 47th St. Patrick’s Road Race will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024. For more information, visit www.holyokestpatricksparade.com.