The Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has selected Gloria and Allan LaCoe as Grand Marshals for the 37th Annual Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade is scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at 3 pm on Hilton Head Island’s Pope Avenue.
Meet the Grand Marshals
Gloria and Allan LaCoe came to Hilton Head Island in 1995 as part-time residents and made the Island their permanent home a few years later. Since then they have built a successful real estate business, but it is the couple’s tireless dedication to benevolence and charity that inspired the Committee to select them as this year’s Grand Marshals. “We were…blown away!” said Gloria upon learning the news. “My first reaction was that there are way too many people on this island who are far more deserving,” added Allan.
Gloria hails from central Massachusetts and Allan was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Their paths eventually led them to meet in Atlanta, Georgia while working in the home furnishings industry. They were frequent visitors to Hilton Head Island, eventually bought property and, a familiar story to many Island residents, finally made it their home. The LaCoes immediately got to work in their real estate business and serving the community.
The couple are probably best known for helping to establish the Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner held at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, which served about 300 people in its first year and has since grown to over 1,500 dinners served. But that is only the tip of the iceberg for the LaCoes. It began with volunteering for the Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island, eventually becoming board members and they are still involved to this day.
Other local organizations that have benefited from the LaCoes service include: The Children’s Center, Salkahatchie Summer Service, St. Andrews by the Sea Soup Kitchen, Island Recreation Center / People for Parks, Southern Coast Heart Ball and Main Street Youth Theater among numerous others.
The 37th Annual Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Parade will march on Sunday, March 15, 2020 beginning at 3 pm on Pope Avenue and ending on Office Park Road. The oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the State of South Carolina expects a record number of pipe and drum and marching bands to participate, including the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ regimental band, also known as the Highty-Tighties, for the first time, and the United States Marine Corps band from Parris Island, a Parade regular.
Six high school bands will appear, including Williston-Elko Drum Line, Battery Creek High School, Sol C. Johnson High School, Bishop Moore High School from Orlando, Florida, Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School and Savannah High School.
Pipe and drum bands have been a Parade staple for years, and this year there will be six including Atlanta Pipe Band, Charleston Pipe Band, Coastal Carolina Shields Pipes & Drums (Myrtle Beach, SC), NYPD Pipes & Drums of the Emerald Society, Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums (Palm Coast, FL), and newcomers U.S. Border Patrol Pipes & Drums.
Those bands will join the usual collection of colorful floats and marching groups from local businesses and non-profit organizations, the usual procession of local dignitaries, and another new addition, The Historic Stage Coach Team. The Parade Committee expects to add other exciting and interesting attractions by Parade Day.
- Parade Date and Time: Sunday, March 15, 2020, 3 pm, rain or shine.
- Parade Location: Pope Avenue at Hilton Head Island’s South End.
- To join the Parade, enter online at HiltonHeadIreland.org and click on “Enter the Parade.”
- Entry fees are $400 for businesses and $200 for non-profit organizations.
- Volunteers are needed to help in the staging area and along the Parade route. Volunteer online at HiltonHeadIreland.org and click on “Volunteer.”
- The Parade will follow its usual route, beginning at the south end of Pope Avenue near Coligny Circle and marching north to Office Park Road – site of the reviewing stand – where it will make a left turn and proceed to its end in front of Park Plaza and The Courtyard Building.
Founded in 1983 by local business icon Tom Reilley and a few friends and family, the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade has grown to become one of Hilton Head Island’s most beloved and popular annual events. Upwards of 30,000 spectators line Pope Ave. and Office Park Road each spring to enjoy floats and marching groups representing local businesses and charities, high school and university marching bands, the U.S. Marine Corps Band from Parris Island, pipe and drum bands, a procession of local dignitaries, and the always popular Shriners with their hilarious antics. Over the years the Parade has also featured the Budweiser Clydesdales, military jet flyovers, and Nashville recording star Michelle Murray among other attractions. In 2013 the Parade received a commendation from Hilton Head Island’s Town Council in celebration of its 30th anniversary.