MCCARTYVILLE — Sue and Larry L. Huecker, of McCartyville, have been named grand marshals of the McCartyville St. Patrick’s Day parade, and Katie Niekamp, of McCartyville, will reign as queen of the 2017 festival.
The parade is a highlight of the annual Irish-themed event, which runs this year from March 16 through March 18 in the village at the crossroads of state routes 29 and 119.
Larry said it was a surprise to hear he was a grand marshal.
“I’ve been on the committee (organizing the festival). I thought we had someone else picked out,” he said. “Then they told me it was us.”
Larry was on the committee that started the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in McCartyville and has been involved for the last 34 years. He retired after 41 years from the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services. He works part time for Visiting Angels. He is a past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, volunteered on the Vets to D.C. trips, coached and ran youth softball and baseball, is treasurer of the McCartyville Well Association and has served on various committees of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He also maintains the ball fields in Anna and McCartyville.
Sue is retired from Shelby County Job and Family Services. A former hairdresser, she works part time for Visiting Angels and used to teach religion classes at Sacred Heart Church.
The Hueckers have a daughter and son-in-law, Catherine and Chris Boeke, of Fort Loramie, and three grandchildren.
“I’ve been around McCartyville all my life. It’s an honor,” Larry said of their appointment. “There’s so many around here that deserve to be grand marshal. I’d kind of like to share it with them.”
Niekamp is the daughter of Juanita and Louis Niekamp. She attends Sinclair Community College in Dayton and is a graduate of Anna High School.
She will reign over festivities that begin March 16, at 7 p.m., with a sing-along at Patrick’s Pub & Grill, 13491 state Route 29.
A fish fry at 5 p.m. opens activities, March 17. The all-you-can-eat meal is available for carry-out or dine in at the Parish Activity Center in the church, 9377 state Route 119. The cost is $8 and the menu includes Alaskan pollock, potato salad, applesauce, chips and a roll.
Niekamp will be honored with a toast to the queen at 7 p.m. in Patrick’s Pub. She will be crowned at 7:30 p.m. in the Parish Activity Center. Music there will round out the day’s events.
On March 18, rides to the start of the Irish Jog in St. Patrick will leave the McCartyville church parking lot at 10:30 a.m. The jog from St. Patrick to McCartyville begins at 11 a.m. The parade through McCartyville will step off at 1:30 p.m. It will be followed by music and drinks in the Parish Activity Center.
Irish putter golf begins there after the parade and will follow a course through the village. All activities are open to the public.
Niekamp was selected by Nick Schmitmeyer, of McCartyville, according to Larry.
“He always selects the queen and gets a kiss of her. So he’s kissed 35 of the cutest girls of the McCartyville area,” Larry laughed. Most of the women who have reigned over past St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the village return each year for the festivities, he added.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.