Dublin St. Patrick's Day celebration
Detective Gilleland -- an Irishman -- will lead parade
A Dublin police detective and Irishman will lead the 2013 Dublin St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade.
Det. Erik Gilleland will lead the Saturday, March 16, parade that will take about 100 units through Historic Dublin beginning at 11 a.m.
"I was named the 2012 Officer of the Year and the chief (Heinz von Eckartsberg) came to me a couple of weeks ago and told me," Gilleland said.
" 'The Officer of the Year and Civilian of the Year will lead the parade this year,' " Gilleland said. The Civilian of the Year is communications technician Lauran Yankanin.
St. Patrick's Day is never boring for Gilleland, who is usually in the Dublin and Columbus parades.
"I'm a longtime member of the Emerald Society of Columbus and the Columbus Shamrock Club," he said, adding his daughter often performs in the parades with Irish dancing.
One of Gilleland's favorite parts of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin is the unity among Columbus Irish organizations.
"What I like in the Dublin parade is most Irish organizations march with the Clann na nGael section," he said.
Clann na nGael is Gaelic and means "One Family -- Irish."
For volunteer Art Robertson, the best part of the St. Patrick's Day parade is seeing what has changed.
"I do look forward to seeing which balloons they have from year to year," Robertson said.
"They have changed them up," he said. "I like seeing what's changed (and) what's stayed the same.
"I like seeing people who volunteer from year to year."
Robertson, who is often referred to as "Mr. Fest" by his friends because of the many central Ohio events he volunteers at, handles getting the balloons into the lineup.
His current volunteer job, which he also does at Dublin's Independence Day parade, came to him when he was handed a clipboard during parade lineup.
The next year he was contacted and asked to return.
"They had a plan for me," Robertson said.
"I took the plan and modified it a bit and executed it and now it's my thing," he said.
"There's no formal name, but I guess I'm the balloon merge coordinator."
Robertson formerly worked in Dublin and lives in Columbus.
The thanks he gets has kept him returning to Dublin's St. Patrick's Day and Independence Day parades over the past six years.
"I like the feeling of being wanted there and I think Dublin does a very good job of making volunteers feel wanted and appreciated," he said.
"I look forward to that."
St. Patrick's Day Celebration festivities in Dublin will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday as the Dublin Lion's Club serves up pancakes at Sells Middle School, 150 W. Bridge St., until 11 a.m.
Adults can eat for $6 and children 12 years old and younger are $4.
The inflation celebration will show parade balloon preparation at 9:30 a.m. at Metro Center, 500 Metro Place North.
The Hooligans will play for paradegoers from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. on the Bridge Street review stand near Indian Run Elementary School.
The parade will step off from Metro Center at 11 a.m. and wind its way down Bridge Street before heading south at High Street.
For more information about St. Patrick's Day Celebration events in Dublin, look online at dublinohiousa.gov/events/st-patricks-day-parade.