Published March 3, 2005
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day properly takes a week or more, based on a look at the schedule of events for Atlanta in 2005.
All are invited to attend the annual Black Tie Hibernian Benevolent Society St. Patrick’s Day Ball on Friday, March 11, at The Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta. Tickets at $85 per person or $850 for a table of 10 include dinner and dancing to the Blue Sky Orchestra from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. A cocktail hour with a cash bar will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Additional entertainment will be provided by the Cregan O’Brien School of Irish Dance.
Alban Maginness, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly representing North Belfast, will be a special guest at the ball.
For reservations call John Jordan, president of the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta, at (770) 614-3728 or make reservations on-line at www.irishatlanta.com.
Mass to celebrate the feast day of St. Patrick will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will be the principal celebrant of the Mass and Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue will concelebrate the Mass along with priests of the archdiocese. A coffee and reception will follow the Mass at the Cathedral. All are invited.
The festivities will continue on Friday, March 18, with the annual laying of the wreath at the Atlanta Old City Hall monument honoring Father Thomas O’Reilly. Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 p.m. at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta, followed by a church reception.
At 1 p.m. the solemn wreath-laying ceremony will take place on the grounds of the Old City Hall at the corner of Washington and Mitchell streets. Units from the Atlanta Fire Department and Atlanta Police Department Emerald Societies will take part with bagpipes and honor guards. Msgr. Edward J. Dillon, pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Atlanta, will speak at the ceremony honoring the Civil War pastor of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception who intervened and saved downtown churches and municipal buildings from being burned to the ground by Union forces during the fall of Atlanta.
Father O’Reilly, a native of Ireland, and Father Thomas Cleary, also an Irish-born pastor of the Shrine, are buried in a crypt beneath the Shrine.
City officials and grand marshals of the St. Patrick’s Day parade are also expected to take part in the ceremony.
On Saturday, March 19, the 124th St. Patrick’s Day parade sponsored by the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta will take place at its old location in downtown Atlanta beginning at 1 p.m. at Peachtree Street and Ralph McGill Boulevard. The parade will follow a Peachtree Street route ending at Underground Atlanta.
The 2005 Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade will have 200 units, including at least 20 major floats, bands, military units, six bagpipe and drum corps, hundreds of children, Irish dancers, clowns, high tech firefighting equipment, police units, drill teams, dogs, horses, antique cars, dignitaries from Ireland and local government leaders.
The grand marshal will be Ronald McDonald and the Atlanta area Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Healthcare will be the beneficiary of the festivities.
In addition to the parade, there will be a family festival at Underground Atlanta where the parade will end.
The chairman of the parade committee is Ed Moran.
For more information on any of the activities and for maps visit www.irishatlanta.com.