Oklahoma City's 31st annual St. Patrick's Day parade is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, and this year's grand marshal said he is following in his father's footsteps.
Grand marshal Peter Pembroke, 46, a first-generation American, said his Irish-born father was the St. Patrick's Day parade grand marshal in Milwaukee in 1992.
The Oklahoma City parade begins at Walker and Sheridan, proceeding east on Sheridan through Bricktown to Mickey Mantle Drive.
“It's a fast-moving parade with great entries for your entertainment,” said Paula Jones, parade director. “This don't-miss event is a free, fun and family-focused parade. Be a part of the celebration so you can help bring the ‘Irish Green of Spring' to our great city.”
A special entry this year is 4C's Gypsy horses from Blanchard. Other parade participants include Bricktown Clowns, Fuller Fire Brigade, Jean Hill Irish Dance School, OKC Roller Derby and the Oklahoma Llama Association.
“Don't forget, everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick's parade day,” Jones said.
According to Pembroke's biography, his family is from Dublin County, Ireland. His siblings were born in Dublin, but the family moved to Milwaukee before he was born. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1997 with a degree in sociology. He met his wife, Sandy, in Washington, D.C., and they now live in Oklahoma City.
He has volunteered with the United Way annual campaign, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer fundraisers and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Holding true to his Irish Catholic roots, Pembroke is serving as the Knights of Columbus Council 1038 grand knight.
“I am so excited,” Pembroke said. “It's a really nice feeling to have, being recognized by the city.”
After 27 years of directing the parade, Jones is passing the responsibility on to the Bricktown Association, which has yet to announce a director.
“It has be a privilege to bring joy to the thousands of people who participate in the parade or come to enjoy it as a part of their family tradition, but it's time to pass it on to others,” Jones said.