Grand Marshal

Each year, the Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade Committee recognizes one person of Irish heritage and Catholic faith who has contributed to the betterment of the greater Manchester area. This person is named the parade’s Grand Marshal, and marches with their family in the parade. The person(s) must be actively participating in their Catholic faith, attending Mass, and or serving their Parish in some Ministry or on committees in that Parish.

Nominations for Grand Marshal are due, in writing, by midnight on November 17 for the following year’s parade. The parade Grand Marshal is selected by a committee made up of the previous Grand Marshals and is announced in January.

Richard Phelan

2023 Grand Marshal:
 Richard "Dick" Phelan

Dick, an Irish Catholic, who is a member of Holy Rosary Parish, was raised on the East Side of Manchester. Although he lived in Derry and is currently living in Hooksett, Dick lived much of his life in Manchester.

Dick’s service to other began after high school when he became a member of the National Guard and of the 39th Army Band. Dick worked for the New England Telephone Company for several years and during that time, he served as a member and President of the local chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a charitable organization dedicated to volunteerism, focused on literacy for youth.

In 1962, Dick married his wife Sally and together they raised 4 children. During this time, one of Dick’s children had an eye condition causing him to need multiple eye surgeries. This led Dick to found the Lions Club in Derry, an organization whose mission includes protecting and preserving vision as well as serving those who are visually impaired. Dick led fundraising efforts for the Lion’s Club benefitting New Hampshire he was also the president of the organization and contributed greatly to the success of the Lion’s Club.

Dick also served as the president of the St. Thomas Aquinas School Board in Derry, the local treasurer for the Salvation Army.  Dick was also employed as a court officer in Manchester, after he retired from the phone company.  

The St. Patrick’s Parade in Manchester is not something new for Dick.  He served on the committee for several years in various roles, sometimes more than one role at a time and was always willing to give a helping hand.   

Dick is an incredible individual who worked hard for his family, volunteered serving his community and always held on to his faith.  He is a great choice for Grand Marshal of the 2023 Manchester Saint Patrick’s Parade!

Past Grand Marhals

  • Stephanie McLaughlin 2020
  • John & Marilyn Cashin 2019
  • Sheila Smith 2018
  • Alan Heidenreich 2017
  • Bill & Mary Ellen Biser 2016
  • John “Jack” O’Connor 2015
  • Sr. Patricia Sullivan, RSM 2014
  • Gerry Holleran 2013
  • John P. Jordan 2012
  • Father Jerome Day, OSB 2011
  • Robert E. Murphy, 2010
  • Catherine “Kay” Moran 2009
  • Rick Walsh 2008
  • Marty Quirk 2007
  • James J. Sheehan 2006
  • Charles J. Quinn 2005
  • Sr. Margaret Ahern, RSM 2004
  • Louis J. Craig 2003
  • George W. Smith 2002
  • Robert Collins 2001
  • Sr. Angie Whidden, RSM 2000
  • Tom King 1999
  • John “Jumbo” Reilly 1998
  • Hon. Martin Loughlin 1997
  • Bishop Leo O’Neil 1996


Nominations can be submitted in writing to: St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, P.O. Box 3567, Manchester, NH 03105. Nominations may also be e-mailed to saintpatsparadenh@gmail.com or submitted online.

Thomas J. King Award

Occasionally, the parade committee honors an individual who is not of Irish heritage or not of Catholic faith who has contributed to the betterment of the greater Manchester area. This person is named the recipient of the Thomas J. King award, and marches with their family in the parade.

George Rousseau

The Manchester Saint Patrick’s Parade Committee will honor George Rousseau as the 2020 recipient of the Thomas J. King Award.

George is CASA advocate and has been for more than 18 years. In that time he has worked on 11 cases supporting 18 children, driving as many as 2500 miles per year to meet with and follow up with the children he represents. These numbers prove that he is making a difference in his community. He is a talented and dedicated advocate, valued and treasured by everyone associated with CASA.

In addition to being an excellent advocate, he has also volunteered to be a team captain for the CASA “100 Men for 100 Children” campaign in 2015. He has been featured in many CASA marketing videos and hosted many advocate support meetings in his home.

George has been described as “Dependable”, “Dutiful”, “Reliable”, and “Ardent”. These are all excellent qualities for someone who advocates for some of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable children. He works diligently for the children whom he represents, and is enthusiastic as he works towards permanency for the children he serves.

George is considered by all service providers, the Court, and the DCYF (Division of Youth, Children and Families) as being very solid and trustworthy. He works well with parents and foster parents and is well respected and admired for his frankness in situations that are very emotional and difficult.

George has a wonderful sense of humor that helps him to connect with both parents and foster parents, making them instantly feel comfortable with him and not threatened which allows him to be very successful as an advocate for children.

Rousseau is known as a man of high caliber and integrity, and is dedicated to ensuring that children have access to safe, nurturing and permanent living situations. He visits the children wherever they may be living. Additionally, he considers the opinions of their parents and social workers. He attends their educational and therapeutic sessions and numerous judicial hearings before making his recommendations. It’s a complex process as evidenced by Rousseau putting nearly 2,500 miles on his car last year.

George serves his parish, St. Pius X, as a Eucharistic Minister and as a member of the Grief Team. He collects information about the decedent and their family so that a funeral may be more personal which promotes healing. He can identify with the families and help them to speak about the decedent with their hearts.

George Rousseau is the embodiment of the Thomas J. King Award. Please come to the Parade on Sunday, March 29th at noon to help us honor him as this year’s recipient.

Past Honorees

John Clayton

Dr. Sylvio Dupuis

Nancy Gati

Ray Caron

Reverend William Donoghue

Rev. Msgr Thomas J. Hannigan

Bobby Stephen

Parade Dedication

In certain years the Parade Committee will dedicate the Parade to or in remembrance of a cause, group, organization or individual whose efforts and accomplishments improved Greater Manchester, the state of New Hampshire or the United States.

The 2022 Manchester NH St. Patrick’s Day Parade is dedicated to everyone in Health Care, all Educators, Fire, Police and those in Public Health.

The parade is dedicated to all of the Music Educators, Music Directors and Music Staff who bring music to our schools and communities.

The parade was dedicated to those who are bringing awareness to the mental health and substance abuse issues in our community.

In remembrance of 100 years since the Easter Rebellion. The Rising began on Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, and lasted for six days and ultimitely resulted in the independence of Ireland.

John F Kennedy said in a 1962 speech that Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable which is why we believe that it’s not the rebel that creates the violence, but the violence that creates the rebel.  Early Americans knew that and the American Revolution was the result.  The patriots of 1916 also knew that and the Easter Rising was the result.  But that rising was different from all others in Irish history.

This year’s parade is dedicated to the first responders and victims of the Boston Marathon bombing whose one-year anniversary is two weeks after the parade.

The Sisters of Mercy in America were recognized on the 150th anniversary of their remarkably dedicated service to Manchester and New Hampshire health care and educational establishments.

Cognizant of the large number of New Hampshire Reservists and National Guard called to serve on active duty, the Parade was dedicated to all deployed military personnel from New Hampshire.

In remembrance of 50 years since the advent of hostilities in South Korea, the Committee dedicated the Parade to all Korean War veterans. Special recognition was accorded to local members of The Chosin Few, an organization of Marine Corps and Army veterans of the savage Chosin Reservoir fighting.