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New Iberia Marching Men spread Irish cheer on St. Patrick’s Day

Posted at 8:53 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 21:53:50-04

For the 8th year in a row, the New Iberia Marching Men are taking Main St. to spread the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day.

And for this one day, everyone along the route was able to feel a little more Irish, decorated in plastic green carnations and beads.

“It’s St. Patrick’s Day in South Louisiana, we celebrate our Irish heritage,” said one of the captains of the parade, David Munnerlyn.

Marching alongside them was some athletes from the local Special Olympics.

“I’m excited about this, we have a good parade, we have a good time, we throw beads and stuff like that but we’re going to have some fun though,” said one of the Special Olympics athletes, Luke Gardner.

The marching men donate to the organization as their philanthropy. The proceeds from their  raffle and auction went to helping the athletes in their competitions.

“We’re going to accumulate that, we’re going to raise some money and we’re going to give that to the kids in New Iberia so that when they go to the Special Olympics, we’ll be able to support them,” said Munnerlyn.

“We’re excited about teaming up with the St Patrick’s Day group and we’re looking for a long and lasting relationship with these guys,” said another athlete, Charlie Courville.

The parade also had another guest of honor, 93-year-old Jerry Shae Sr. who was selected as their grand marshal.

“I want to thank all these men in those short skirts for how they treated me these past two weeks. Being 93 I guess they thought I wasn’t going to be around for much longer, but look I’m still having a green beer tonight,” laughed Shae as he took a sip of his beer.

Shae comes from a big Irish family in New Iberia and spent the day celebrating his culture with the community.

“My grandfather came from Ireland when he was 7 years and today we had about 70 Shae’s here in New Iberia and we have about 20 more scattered around the world,” he said.