HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 67th annual Grand Colleen Pageant will select five women on Saturday who will be in the Grand Colleen’s Court for the 70th Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.
There are 10 contestants here at Holyoke High School competing for five spots tonight and that will eventually whittle down to one Grand Colleen.
This pageant was just one of the many steps that these young Irish Women take on their journey to potentially becoming the Grand Colleen, a fixture in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. The day began with a morning interview with the three judges and then the evening pageant that has been a staple in the community for over 60 years.
“Every year we have girls who start watching these when they’re really little and when they grow up they wanna be an Irish princess and so that’s what they’re hear to do and it’s always nice seeing it happen here,” Abigail Scanlon Co-chair of Colleen Pageant.
“I’ve been to the colleen pageant every single year and I’ve dreamt about being a contestant to show the community my hard work and this is a tradition I just absolutely love,” Caroline Leahy Contestant.
The pageant attracts family friends- members of the Holyoke and South Hadley’s Irish community and former contestants who see a real value in the Grand Colleen Pageant.
“It really got me in touch with my Irish heritage but it also got me to be friends with these girls who are now sisters to me so it really changes your life because your able to make bonds that you’ll have forever,” Haley Dusseault Colleens Cordinator.
The Grand Colleen will receive numerous gifts from local donors, a scholarship, or a trip for two to Ireland presented by the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke.
The five young women who make it through tonight will take part in the Coronation Ball next month where the Grand Colleen will be announced and then eventually get to ride down the parade route. And it’s an exciting time as we are currently only 70 days 15 hours and 58 minutes and well to my exact estimation 14 seconds from the 70th St. Patrick’s Parade.
The 10 contestants in alphabetical order are the following:
- Abby Rose Glasheen- Holyoke, age 21, Holyoke High School graduate, currently at Westfield State University majoring: in Health Sciences.
- Caroline Sullivan Leahy- Holyoke, age 20, Saint Mary’s Parish High School graduate, currently at Saint Anselm College majoring in Junior Elementary Education.
- Catherine Mary Keane- Holyoke, age 22, Holyoke High School graduate, currently at Sacred Heart University majoring in Psychology.
- Ellie Rose Westcott- Holyoke, age 22, Holyoke High School graduate,?
- Grace Madison Ryan- South Hadley, age 19, South Hadley High School graduate, currently at Central Connecticut State University.
- Hayley Helena O’Brien- Holyoke, age 21, South Hadley High School graduate, currently at Elms College majoring in Criminal Justice.
- Lauren Nicole Ryan- Holyoke, age 21, Holyoke High School graduate, currently at Roger Williams University majoring in Finance.
- Mara Moriarty Downie- Holyoke, age 19, St. Mary’s Parish High School graduate, currently at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Psychology & Art.
- Mya Donnelly-Scott- Holyoke, age 19, Hampshire Regional High School graduate, currently at DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, Inc.
- Rachel Elizabeth Gouin- South Hadley, age 18, currently at South Hadley High School.
The Finalists Are:
- Mara Moriarty Donnie
- Caroline Sullivan Leahy
- Abby Ross Glasheen
- Lauren Nicole Ryan
- Catherine Mary Keane
And Miss. Congeniality is Caroline Sullivan Leahy.