GENESEE COUNTY — Matthew Bade, a lieutenant with the Swartz Creek Police Department and retired Burton police detective, is grand marshal of the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Flint.
Bade, who traces his Irish heritage back to Ireland, will lead festivities beginning with a 12:02 p.m. Mass on March 17, in St. Michael Catholic Church, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at a nearby veterans’ park and a party in the lower level of St. Michael Church, located at N. Saginaw Street and E. Fifth Avenue, in the downtown area.
The Mass, to be led by Bishop Earl Boyea of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, is a tradition began years ago by the local chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization started in New York City in 1836. Members must be Catholic, Irish-born or of Irish descent.
Bade, who lives in Grand Blanc Township, traces his Irish roots to Limerick, Ireland, on his father’s side and Dublin, Ireland, on his mother’s side of the family. His parents, Patrick and Annora Bade, were chosen Irish mother and father of the year for the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day festivities while Bade’s daughter, Meghan, was Miss Hibernia in 2012.
Bade retired from the Burton Police Department in June 2013 after 23 years on the force and later that month joined the Swartz Creek Department as a lieutenant. He was selected as Grand Marshal by former Grand Marshals of the local Hibernians.
Bade will be introduced as Grand Marshal at the St. Patrick’s Day Mass. Also to be revealed and introduced will be this year’s mother and father of the year and the 2016 Miss Hibernia and her court.
Erica Kennedy, of Lapeer, a 2015 Powers Catholic High School graduate, is Miss Hibernia. Shannon Shaughnessy, a Davison High School senior is first runner-up and Katelyn Valley, a senior at Flushing High School, is second runner-up.
The St. Patrick’s Day party will be held in the community room at St. Michel until 6:30 p.m. The
The event will include music, dancing, a silent auction and 50/50 drawing to benefit the Catholic Charities’ soup kitchens.
The festivities will be capped with the 36th annual Pot O’ Gold four-mile run and walk starting at 6 p.m. in downtown