Grand Marshal Named for Savannah's 182nd St. Patrick's Day Parade - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/26/06

Grand Marshal Named for Savannah's 182nd St. Patrick's Day Parade

Tony Ryan will be the fourth Ryan to lead the St. Patrick's Day parade Tony Ryan will be the fourth Ryan to lead the St. Patrick's Day parade

Many say its Savannah's highest honor, leading the city's Saint Patrick's Day Parade. It's a tradition that's spanned more than a hundred and eighty years, but very few families have had a history with the parade as rich as this year's Grand Marshal.

Vestus Ryan was Grand Marshal in 1974. His brother, Police Chief Leo Ryan, wore the Marshal's sash in 1980, saying "it'd be a cold day in hell when Leo Ryan was Marshal, well look, it's snowin' outside!"

Leo's eldest son, Michael, took the prize in 1996, and Sunday Tony Ryan became the 4th member of his family to be the Grand Marshal of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

When asked about his new title, Ryan replied, "you can't have too many Ryans!"

Ryan was elected unanimously, without opposition, during Sunday's gathering of the Saint Patrick's Day Parade Committee at Benedictine Military School.

Those who know the Grand Marshal best say Ryan's the perfect choice to lead the 182nd parade.

Ryan says his dad would be "grinnin' ear to ear" to hear that his boy had claimed an unprecedented spot in the history of the green in Savannah.

You can see Tony Ryan lead the parade Friday, March 17th, thru downtown Savannah. Or you can watch the parade live St. Patrick's Day morning on WTOC.

Reported By: Craig Harney; charney@wtoc.com

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