York Township man to lead St. Patrick's Day Parade

A York Township man will be leading this year's St. Patrick's Day parade in York City.

David Kennedy, of York Township, was selected as this year's grand marshal for the event, now in its 35th year.

The grand marshal was revealed Wednesday, Jan. 10.

“I was stunned, I had no idea that it was coming," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said he was asked a few weeks ago and had to keep it quiet before the reveal.

The 2016 York Saint Patrick's Day Parade Grand Marshal Ward Walsh of Spring Garden Township, left, talks with this year's grand marshal David Kennedy of York Township, after a press conference at Central Market announcing his role Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018. The parade starts at 1 p.m. March, 17. Bill Kalina photo

Kennedy, whose paternal grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1920s, said it is an honor to lead the parade.

"You actually are representing a heritage," he said.

Kennedy said he grew up near his grandparents, and he was immersed in the "Irish household" they created. He said he learned about Irish customs and hospitalities.

"I have very fond memories," he said.

Kennedy said he sees the parade as not only a fun family day but also a unifier for York City.

"It's a time for people of all backgrounds ... to sort of celebrate the contributions that all of them have made to our community," he said. 

Background: Kennedy is co-founder and managing director of Aspire Ventures, a technology-based capital firm founded in 2013 by a group of entrepreneurs, operators, investors and philanthropists, according to a release from the committee that organizes the parade.

The firm is based in Lancaster.

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Kennedy was CEO of appMobi Inc., whose development tools and cloud services platform enabled web developers to create and deploy applications for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, the release states.

He also was CEO and vice chairmen of Interep National Radio Sales in New York. Kennedy  served as CEO of Susquehanna Media Co., one of the largest major-market radio, cable and internet companies in the United States, according to the release. 

"I cannot think of a better choice for the grand marshal for this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade," Mary Anne Winkelman, president of the Cultural Alliance of York County, said in a news release. "Dave has given so much to this community in so many ways and is a fitting representative of his Irish heritage.

This year's parade will take place on the holiday itself, Saturday, March 17. The parade begins at 1 p.m. from Market and Penn streets and will continue east on Market Street to Duke Street.

About 100 different entries are expected to take part in the celebration.

For more information on the event, check its Facebook page or websitewww.yorksaintpatricksdayparade.org.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.