People have been seeing green earlier this year, it seems, but this is the month for this color to really shine.
Long Beach has already celebrated St. Patrick’s with their parade and festival on March 4, and Pascagoula’s O’Blarney Society will celebrate the wearin’ o’ the green on March 17 itself. Ocean Springs will celebrate all day on March 17.
But three St. Patrick’s societies are planning to hit the streets on March 11 to honor Ireland’s patron saint.
Hibernia, Biloxi, 2 p.m. March 11
The Hibernia Marching Society was organized in Biloxi in 1978 and incorporated as The Hibernia Marching Society of Mississippi Inc. in 1989. The purpose of the society is to promote interest in Irish heritage and to develop a great appreciation for Irish culture.
Allied with those objectives is the desire to experience good fun and good fellowship among members of the society who are Irish by birth, marriage or desire.
Alexandra Waldrop, the daughter of Terry and Stacey Waldrop, was born and raised in Gulfport.
Waldrop’s grandparents are Jack and Annette Hughes Williams and Jerry and Barbara Elliott Waldrop.
Waldrop’s Irish heritage includes her paternal great-great-grandfather, William Elliott, who descended from a Scot-Irish border clan in Northern Ireland.
The Elliott family migrated to the United States and settled in western North Carolina. Waldrop’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Ivy Coker, is a descendant of the County Cork, Ireland, immigrants. In 2015, after her international student teaching studies, Alexandra traveled to Ireland to experience the culture of her family’s Irish heritage.
Waldrop graduated from St. Patrick Catholic High School in 2011. That same year, she received the City of Biloxi Youth Volunteer of the Year award. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in special and elementary education.
Her affiliations include being a past member of the Kappa Delta Sorority, where she held the panhellenic delegate position and was the chairperson of the inaugural USM Relay for Life.
She is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society.
Waldrop teaches special education at West Elementary in Gulfport and is pursuing her master of education degree in dyslexia therapy at William Carey University.
She is an advocate of children with special needs and volunteers as a coach with the Mississippi Coast Special Needs Soccer Association.
She has been involved in community service activities with the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, South Mississippi Special Needs Organization and March for Life. She is a member of St. James Catholic Church in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Rep. Scott DeLano, the son of Don and Barbara DeLano, was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Three years later, the DeLano family moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. DeLano is married to Robin (Uchima) and they have two children: Matthew, 16, and Emily, 13. While DeLano’s surname is French in origin, his Irish ancestors can be traced directly back to the mid-1820s around Boston.
In 1990, DeLano graduated from Long Beach High School and is a 1996 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. While at USM, he was a member of the Epsilon Nu chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity. During his college years, DeLano worked at Grand Casino Gulfport, Grand Casino Biloxi and at Gold Shore Casino.
After graduation, DeLano joined the Biloxi Police Department as a patrolman until 1997, when his law enforcement career ended abruptly after a head-on automobile accident that resulted in a significant neck injury. DeLano joined his mother’s real estate company in 1998 to specialize in retail redevelopment, tenant representation and residential subdivision developments.
In 2009, he co-founded Southeast Commercial Real Estate, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage and development company.
In 2010, DeLano joined the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he serves as the chairman of the Technology Committee and is a member of the Insurance, Gaming, Education and the Appropriations committees.
DeLano received Legislator of the Year from Mississippi Association of Realtors, Mississippi Homebuilders and Mississippi Civil Defense Emergency Management Association.
Community stewardship has always been important to DeLano and he is a graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast 2001, Leadership Mississippi 2004, the inaugural Gulf Coast Business Council’s Master’s Class and was named to the Sun Herald’s Top 10 Business Leaders Under 40.
Pass Christian Krewe of Blarney, 1 p.m. March 11
The Krewe of Blarney Halfast Walkin’ Klub steps out from City Hall on Scenic Drive at 1 p.m. on March 11
The Krewe of Blarney will mark its 22nd year during its parade walk.
From early on, the parade was a takeoff from the Pete Fountain Halfast Walking group in New Orleans. It is the only St. Paddy walking parade on the Gulf Coast.
Through the years, only the venues have changed where Irish corn beef and cabbage is served and each year a new colleen was selected to ride in her decorated chariot and a new grand marshal dressed in finery would lead the walk. The route remains the same: Scenic Drive from City Hall to Davis Avenue and north to Second Street return to Market Avenue ending at Scenic Drive.
The parade is sponsored by the Kaptains Klub, whose members are local businessmen, retired gentlemen and those who toil with their minds and brawn. Dressed in tuxedos, wearing sashes and sporting a flower cane, they stop to hug the folks along the way. Any one wearing green may join in the parade, with golf carts and autos following behind.
To thrill the spectators, Celtic Strutters, a strutting group of fancy dressed ladies in black and green, will perform the Irish jig and twirls with a bit of second lining to boot.
For the first time, the grand marshal and colleen selections are a grandfather and his granddaughter.
This year’s colleen is Hanna Dawley and the grand marshal is businessman Harold Dawley. They will be honored and toasted along the walk at several sponsored toasting stops with a few Irish limericks provided by the engaging Kaptains.
Harold H. Dawley Jr.
Harold H. Dawley Jr. is a Marine Corps veteran, retired clinical psychologist and owner of several Pass Christian businesses, including the Dollar General store and AALCO Self Storage. His newest business is a large boat/RV storage yard offering covered storage.
Dawley retired from the New Orleans Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he also held clinical faculty appointments at Louisiana State University Medical School, Tulane University School of Medicine and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
He is a past president of the American Psychological Association Division of Psychologists in Public Service and the National Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologists. He achieved status as an internationally recognized expert on smoking cessation and has written seven books and more than 70 research papers and articles. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Psychologist of the Year award from the Louisiana Psychological Association and the Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Psychologists in Public Service of the APA, and was elected a Fellow of the APA.
After Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and businesses in Pass Christian, his was one of the first businesses to rebuild. Since Katrina also destroyed the city’s fire station on West North Street, he volunteered the use of a warehouse as a temporary fire station along with allowing the placement of a trailer next to it to house the firemen. He has been a kaptain in the Krewe of Blarney for more than 15 years.
He and his wife, Linda, live in Diamondhead, where in 2014 they served as king and queen of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Diamondhead. He collects antique military vehicles. They include three World War II-era vehicles, one of which is an armored car.
When the Krewe of Blarney of Pass Christian steps off at 1 p.m. on March 11 at City Hall, Pass Christian native Hanna Dawley will be riding proudly as the colleen.
Dawley has Irish roots through her father’s family, whose lineage originated in Ireland as English settlers in the 17th century.
This won’t be Dawley’s first Krewe of Blarney parade. She was only 3 years old in 2004 when her parents, Mike and Charlotte Dawley, took her for the first time to ride in their family’s 1937 fire truck, which has been known to start the procession for the parade. Dawley’s 13 years of participation are now being highlighted as the elected representative to be the colleen.
She is a sophomore at Our Lady Academy in Bay St. Louis, where she has received the Sisters of Mercy Scholarship and the Betty Bensabat Scholarship. Dawley has been inducted into the Monsignor Martin Maloney Chapter of the National Honor Society as well as the Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Society.
Dawley is a member of the St. Stanislaus sailing team and the Pass Christian Yacht Club.
She has received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence.
Dawley belongs to Our Lady of the Gulf Church and is involved in service, ministry and leadership opportunities with the OLG Youth Group. She volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club in Pass Christian.
The colleen was thrilled to learn that her grandfather, Harold Dawley, had been picked as grand marshal. She also has another family member featured in this year’s parade.
Her brother, Michael Dawley, will be tap dancing along the route. Michael, 8, is a third-grader at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Bay St. Louis.
Waveland Civic Association, 2 p.m. March 11
The Waveland Civic Association is the culmination of an idea born in Villere’s bar on Coleman Avenue in Waveland in 1964. Friends who gathered every St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate with corned beef and cabbage decided they needed a parade.
This year, the Waveland Civic Assocation is bringing back the popular WCA cups as throws for the Saturday afternoon parade.
O’Blarney Society, Pascagoula, 6:30 p.m. March 17
The O’Blarney Society will hold its second parade this year at 6:30 p.m. March 17.
This year, the society is partnering with Pascagoula’s Main Street Association, and the parade will take the same route as the city’s Christmas parade.
For more details on the Pascagoula parade, look for an upcoming story in the Sun Herald and at sunherald.com
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, Ocean Springs, March 17
Ocean Springs — including restaurants, shops, bars and the community — will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all day March 17.
“Green” specials will be offered, along with food, drinks, cookies, live music, sales and artists demonstrating their crafts.
The day culminates with a Green Dessert Crawl from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Contact the Ocean Springs Chamber to reserve a seat for the dessert event at 228-875-4424.