Sylvia Henkin selected as Grand Marshal of St. Patrick's Day Par - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sylvia Henkin selected as Grand Marshal of St. Patrick's Day Parade in Sioux Falls

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Sylvia Henkin, the woman who brought St. Patrick's Day community wide celebrations to Sioux Falls 34 years ago, will be the Grand Marshal of the annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 16.

The day's events officially kick off at 11:45 a.m. with the traditional Painting of the Shamrock at 9th Street and Phillips Avenue. The parade forms at 5th Street and Main Avenue at 12:30 p.m. and the parade begins at 2 p.m.

This year will mark Henkin's second turn at the helm of the parade. She was Grand marshal in 1989 and the St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza Committee voted to honor her again because she is hanging up her shillelagh as chair. She will be succeeded by Shawn Cleary, president of Tiger Corporation, manufacturer of roadside mowers and other equipment, and president of the Sioux Falls Irish Club.

In her autobiography, "Sylvia: A Life in Three Acts," Henkin recalls that she frequently watched the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City while there attending meetings of the national YWCA board. She thought Sioux Falls needed a similar celebration. "On Feb. 11, 1979, I gathered a group of gentlemen – go-getters with a sense of fun – in my kitchen," Henkin wrote. "In one month, we organized a parade." She has been chair since.

Henkin, 91, recently received the Spirit of Sioux Falls award from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation and a downtown landmark was re-named the Sylvia R. Henkin State Theater in her honor. She has been an active businesswoman and community volunteer.

The parade on March 16 provides an excellent opportunity for people throughout the Sioux Falls region to visit the city for a day of family activities. In 2009, the St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza committee, which plans the parade with support from the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce staff, decided to move the parade permanently to the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day.

Sponsorships from Sanford Health, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Holiday Inn City Centre, Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation and Xcel Energy help underwrite the costs of bringing the Khartum Temple Pipes and Drums, a Shriner unit from Winnipeg, Manitoba. They have performed in the parade almost since the start and make guest appearances in local schools and hospitals. Following is the performance schedule of the drummers:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

8 p.m. Dinner at Wiley's Tavern, 330 N. Main Ave.

Friday, March 15, 2013

9:15 a.m. Sanford Health, 1305 W. 18th St.

10 a.m. Children's Care Hospital & School, 2501 W. 26th St.

11 a.m. All City at Jane Addams Elementary School, 2511 W. Brookings St.

Noon Lunch at Dow Rummel Village Chapel, 1321 W. Dow Rummel St.

1:30 p.m. Hawthorne Elementary-School, 601 N. Spring Ave.

3 p.m. Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center (800 E. 21st St.) and Avera Prairie Center (1000 E. 23rd St.) (band will be split for these performances)

5 p.m. El Riad Shrine Mosque, 510 S. Phillips Ave.

7 p.m. Dinner at Castaways Bar & Grill, 1301 W. Russell St.

8:30 p.m. Light the Falls Green-Falls Park

Saturday, March 16, 2013

9 a.m. Trail Ridge, 3408 W. Ralph Rogers Rd. #100

11:45 a.m. Reading of the Proclamations/Painting of the Shamrock, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, 100 S. Phillips Ave.

12:30 p.m. Past Grand Marshal Luncheon, Holiday Inn City Centre

2 p.m. Parade

3:30 p.m. Holiday Inn City Centre

5:30 p.m. Empire Mall, 5000 W. Empire Mall

7 p.m. Dinner at Champps, 2101 W. 41st St.

8:30 p.m. El Riad Shrine Mosque-St Patty's Bash

The "Vanguard Squadron," an ethanol-powered stunt team performing in-formation aerobatics again will perform during the parade, weather permitting. It is sponsored by POET, a South Dakota ethanol producer.

The Sioux Falls Irish Club ( has a St. Patrick's concert on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater featuring Mike Connor and Friends. Miss Shamrock also will be crowned at the concert. The Irish Club and Lary Etten Productions sponsor the green lighting on the falls at Falls Park on March 15 and March 16.

There is no entry fee to participate in the parade. The only requirement is that each participant in the parade 16 and older must purchase and wear an official St. Patrick's Day Parade button costing $3. The proceeds help cover parade costs and a portion is donated to Special Olympics. Buttons are available at the Chamber of Commerce office at 200 N. Phillips Ave., at various businesses and at the start of the parade.

No candy can be distributed. Sioux Falls City Council Ordinance (Section 38-143) states: "It is unlawful for any person conducting, managing or participating in any parade to distribute or permit the distribution of any candy or balloons to persons in attendance during the parade."

For more information, go to and click on the Events & Programs/Annual Events link to find more information about St. Patrick's Day, including the parade packet, or call Wendy Neuharth at the Chamber at (605) 336-1620.

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