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Time to go green!

Hibernia Marching Society

As luck would have it, the parades just keep on coming on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After all the Mardi Gras parades, be sure to enjoy all the merriment and tradition of the Hibernia Marching Society Parade, set for March 11 starting at 2 p.m. in Biloxi.

This year’s colleen is Alexandra Waldrop, daughter of Terry and Stacey Waldrop, and the grand marshal is Rep. Scott DeLano, District 117, Harrison County.

Waldrop teaches special education at West Elementary in Gulfport. Her grandparents are Jack and Annette Hughes Williams and Jerry and Barbara Elliott Waldrop. Alexandra’s Irish heritage includes her paternal great-great-grandfather, William Elliott, who descended from a Scot-Irish border clan in Northern Ireland. The Elliott family migrated to the United States and settled in western North Carolina. Alexandra’s maternal great-great-greatgrandfather, Ivy Coker, is a descendant of the County Cork, Ireland immigrants.

The colleen for the annual Irish Heritage Season must embody Irish charm and femininity and is in co-charge with the grand marshal of Irish tradition.

DeLano, the son of Don and Barbara DeLano, was born in Hendersonville, N.C. Three years later the DeLano family moved to the Coast. While DeLano’s surname is French in origin, his Irish ancestors can be traced directly back to the mid-1820s around the city of Boston.

In 2009, he co-founded Southeast Commercial Real Estate, a full service commercial real estate brokerage and development company. A year later, he joined the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he currently serves as the chairman of the Technology Committee and is a member of the Insurance, Gaming, Education and the Appropriations Committees.

The Hibernia Marching Society was organized in Biloxi in 1978 and incorporated as The Hibernia Marching Society of Mississippi Inc. in 1989. Although the society was not formally organized until 1978, informal gatherings were held for about 17 years by several spirited Irish Americans at Mary Mahoney’s Old French House Restaurant in Biloxi. It was started by three men: Dr. John O’Keefe, Clark Shaughnessy and Joe Collins. In 1978, O’Keefe, a Biloxi physician, placed an article in the Sun Herald newspaper, extending an invitation to all Irish, and those who would like to be Irish, to attend a meeting at Mary Mahoney’s to discuss the organization of the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the establishment of a society to sponsor such events. The first parades were red wagons decorated with an Irish flair and beads thrown to those present in the parking lot.