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The secret is out.

Lynda O’Byrne Randall, of Springettsbury Township, will serve as grand marshal of the 34th annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on March 11.

At a news conference Wednesday at Central Market House, Randall said she was shocked when she was asked before Christmas to serve in the role and has spent the past few weeks dodging questions from friends and family.

“I am thrilled. I had to keep this secret until today, so now, I can tell everyone, all of my Irish relatives and all of my friends,” Randall said, adding that she would “be on the phone all day” telling people about her new role.

Randall said she would march in the parade to honor the spirit of her father and his “rich heritage of Irish music, stories and love of family.”

Her late father sang “Danny Boy” at the Mechanicsburg Naval Officers Club each St. Patrick’s Day, but Randall said it was his last performance that truly inspired her.

Randall said her family didn’t think he would be able to perform, but her father — suffering from lung cancer and barely able to speak — stood up and belted out the ballad, just two months before his death.

The new grand marshal encouraged Yorkers to come to the parade and celebrate a “rebirth” in the community, just as the year has its own rebirth with the start of spring.

“It’s a wonderful celebration, not only of the Irish spirit, but also of the York County community,” Randall said.

Randall is a partner and co-owner of New Level Advisors, a management consulting company on Cimmeron Road. She has held positions at York College and Family Child Resources and served as the director of adult education at Junior Achievement.

Randall founded and served as director of the Women’s Business Center Organization at York College from 2007 to 2014 and sits on multiple boards of directors around the county, including at the YWCA, Byrnes Health Education Center, Creative York, York County Library System and the York County Economic Alliance, among others.

“Lynda O’Byrne Randall is an outstanding ambassador for the York community and will represent us well as grand marshal,” 2013 parade Grand Marshal Bryan Tate said in a news release. “I am proud to have been acquainted with Lynda and her wonderful family for many years through multiple activities. York is very fortunate to have this Irish bonny lass represent her.”

The 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parade will start at 1 p.m. March 11 at the corner of Market and Penn streets and will proceed east on Market to Duke Street.

Parade organizers are expecting about 100 groups to march in the parade, including floats, Irish bands and dance groups, antique vehicles, families and even some green-and-orange clowns.

The parade-planning organization is holding its annual There's Guinness In It! event at Central Market House on Feb. 2 to raise money for the parade. A dozen restaurants in the area will serve dishes prepared with Guinness beer. Tickets are $25 and must be purchased by Jan. 26.

More information about the parade and fundraising event can be found at www.YorkSaintPatricksDayParade.org.

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