January 2019

David Lauderdale Named Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal

Author: CH2 Press Release

Public Grand Marshal’s Sash presentation ceremony to be held Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 3:00 PM

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee has selected David Lauderdale, Senior Editor and Columnist for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, as Grand Marshal for the 36th Annual Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The traditional public Grand Marshal’s Sash Presentation Ceremony is planned for Wednesday, January 30 at 3:00 PM. Reilley’s Grill & Bar at 7 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29928 will host the event. Members of the press are invited and encouraged to attend. The Parade is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM on Hilton Head Island’s Pope Avenue.

Lauderdale has been a fixture in the South Carolina Lowcountry press since 1977 when he joined The Island Packet newsroom where he has performed several roles including news editor, managing editor and editorial page editor. Today he writes columns and editorials about Lowcountry life for the Packet and Beaufort Gazette print editions, websites and social media platforms. He is recognized for his coverage of a wide range of issues, especially the environment, mental health, Gullah culture, literacy and local history.

Lauderdale is a two-time winner of the President’s Award for Journalism Excellence, the highest employee honor bestowed by The McClatchy Company, parent company for 30 daily newspapers in markets from coast to coast, including the Packet and Gazette. Additionally, he has collected over 20 first-place awards from the South Carolina Press Association including the E.A. Ramsaur Memorial Award for best editorial writing, and has received a Harry Hampton Award for excellence in natural resources journalism from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.

Lauderdale grew up in Atlanta, the son of a preacher, and graduated Erskine College in Due West, S.C. in 1975 where he majored in English and earned a teaching certificate, as did his then fiancé, Sybil. The couple moved to the Lowcountry where both took teaching jobs at Thomas Heyward Academy in Ridgeland. He began his journalism career with Jasper County publications while teaching at Thomas Heyward, then joined the Packet two years later.

The Lauderdales live on Hilton Head Island and have two adult children, Burke and Ann Talley Zeedyk, who were both raised on the Island. In addition to his journalism work, David teaches an adult Sunday School class at First Presbyterian Church called “Lowcountry Lessons,” and is a frequent public speaker.

“It is a tremendous honor,” said Lauderdale of his Grand Marshal selection. “This is my home, it’s where I raised my children, and it’s where my life’s work is. I credit all of the people I’ve worked with at the Packet over the years; reporters, editors, photographers, everyone who helped me have this career. I represent them.”

“His gift to introduce kindness and heal with words has made him a much loved Island icon,” said Parade Committee co-chair Gabrielle Muething. “David is the voice of our community.”

“We think our St. Patrick’s Day Parade is unique because it’s more a celebration of our town than the holiday,” added Parade Committee member Frank Dunne, Jr. “Mr. Lauderdale’s body of work is like a journal of the Island’s history over the past 40 years. He’s a perfect fit.”

The Parade

This year the Parade will march on St. Patrick’s Day instead of the prior Sunday; a rare occurrence in that it only happens in years when St. Patrick’s Day falls on Sunday. The 2019 edition will feature some newcomers in addition to many of the usual favorites.

The Greater Kensington String Band from Philadelphia, PA will make their Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade debut. The String Band is one of many traditional Mummers clubs who perform in Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade each New Year’s Day. The Mummers Parade is one of the oldest fold festivals in the U.S.

Also for the first time, Navy Band Southeast from Naval Air Station Jacksonville and the United States Army Band will march down Pope Avenue, joining Parade regular favorite Marine Corps Band from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

The always popular pipe and drum bands include Wake and District (North Carolina), Coastal Carolina Shields (Myrtle Beach) and Charleston Police. High school bands from Sol C. Johnson High School, Savannah High School, Battery Creek High School will all make return appearances. They will be joined by the Williston-Elko High School drumline for their first time in the Parade.

Other exciting and interesting attractions are expected to enter by Parade Day. All will join the usual collection of colorful floats and marching groups from local businesses and non-profit organizations, and a procession of local dignitaries.

More Information:

Grand Marshal’s Sash Presentation Ceremony Date, Time and Location: Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 3:00 PM. Reilley’s Grill & Bar, 7 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head Island, S.C. 29928.
Parade Date and Time: Sunday, March 17, 2019, 3:00 PM rain or shine.
Parade Location: Pope Avenue at Hilton Head Island’s South End.

To join the Parade, enter online at HiltonHeadIreland.org.

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 or contact Bill Harper at (843) 616-3604.

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.

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