Larry and Bev Fahey are the 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshals.
The couple met at a bar in Larry’s hometown of Belle Plaine 52 years ago, while Bev visited the city on a break from her studies at Mankato State University.
Bev said she quickly fell in love with Larry and Belle Plaine.
“From the first time I came to Belle Plaine, I noticed it was just a really nice, friendly town. So were all the Irish,” she said.
While Larry is Irish, Bev is German, so she let Larry give the go ahead to accept the grand marshal position this year.
“It’s quite an honor. I have no idea why they asked us,” he said.
Larry’s ancestors came to the United States from County Galway, Ireland, in 1855. They originally came through Louisiana before settling in Belle Plaine on a homestead one year later.
He said many of his cousins have been named grand marshals over the years, but no one in his direct family.
“I think they are just trying to keep the Irish heritage alive in Belle Plaine by picking people from the different Irish families,” said Bev.
The couple said they typically look forward to seeing family members from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Chaska come to town for the local St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Though this year will look different, the pair said they are grateful for the opportunity to have a fun day that honors Irish heritage.
“It’s good they try to do something normal. People need it,” said Larry.
“It’s also good to see they are taking safety precautions. People do need to get out and talk to people,” said Bev.
The grand marshals will be part of the vehicle procession at 1 p.m., starting after Mass at Our Lady of the Prairie on Saturday, March 13.
The Faheys will ride in a car provided by Matt Saxe Chevrolet Buick. There will also be a private, invitation only St. Patrick’s Day Coronation Program at 1:30 p.m., following the vehicle procession.
The program will be streaming live on the Belle Plaine St Patrick’s Day Facebook page.
Those who come out to the celebration are asked to follow all CDC guidelines and the event planners are following Stay Safe Guidance for Entertainment and Meeting Venues.