HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee Saturday night awarded a select few who have contributed so much of themselves to the success of the upcoming 69th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.

It was at the Wherehouse Banquet Hall in Holyoke Saturday, that the nearly 70-year history of the St. Patrick’s parade comes alive with the people who’ve played such a vital role in this iconic tradition in March.

Parade Marshal John Driscoll recalls a precious childhood memory when his Dad was parade Marshall 60 years ago.

“In Holyoke, it’s the greatest honor you can have, you look around this room here, there are so many people who have served in that capacity and it’s going to be so much fun leading this parade committee,” he told 22News.

The 2020 parade grand marshal joined the winners of the prestigious parade awards, the people being honored at Saturday night’s annual reception.

Brynn Gillis, Brian Donoghue, John Beaulieu, and Eileen Curran. For each, their honor speaks to a near lifetime commitment to the parade.

“I grew up with the parade,” said Curran, recipient of the Citizenship Award. “My dad made award-winning floats, I marched in the parade as a cheerleader for Holyoke High School. I was on some of the floats, I was a member of the Colleen Court.”

And although it’s only early February, it’s not too early to plan to attend the 69th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on Sunday, March 22.

The previous day has created its own brand of nostalgia. Nostalgia, when thousands put on their running shoes for the 43rd annual St. Patrick’s Road Race.