Parade to step off at 11 a.m. March 10

George Bell recently celebrated a birthday, but as far as he's concerned, he's 86 going on 65.

Bell might be most recognizable as the voice of the Dublin Coffman High School Shamrocks athletic contests, but his mark in the community over the decades has also included work on the city's Parks and Recreation Committee and Dublin City School District levy campaigns.

In recognition of his community service, Bell will serve as the Grand Leprechaun for Dublin's St. Patrick's Day Celebration parade March 10.

Bell said he was surprised by the nomination.

His former neighbor of 30 years, AC Strip, said it was about time his friend received recognition for his work.

Bell was in the initial class of the Dublin Citizens Police Academy and still stays active with the group.

He also has served as a senior polling place judge at Deer Run Elementary School during primary, special and general elections for the past 10 years.

"George has been one of those very quiet volunteers who has faithfully, really, worked for Dublin in a lot of ways and never really got much recognition," Strip said.

From 1995 through 2008, Bell was the stadium announcer for football games at Coffman. He also for years was the announcer for boys and girls basketball and volleyball games and girls lacrosse matches.

Bell can still be heard at some high school games, kicking off his announcements with his signature, "let's get ready to rumble!"

"When they take the mic away from me, I don't know what I'm going to do," Bell said.

Saturday's celebration

The city's St. Patrick's Day Celebration events will kick off at 7 a.m. with the Lions Club pancake breakfast in Sells Middle School, 150 W. Bridge St.

The inflation celebration for the large balloons that will traverse the parade route will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Graeter's Ice Cream, 6255 Frantz Road

The parade will step off at 11 a.m. from Metro Center and travel north on Frantz Road, east on Bridget Street (state Route 161), south on High Street in the historic district and end at Monterey Drive.

Blarney Bash

The Blarney Bash tent party, will be held from noon to 11:30 p.m. at 555 Metro Place North.

It will feature live entertainment and, a children's activities area. The headliner will be The Prodigals.

Food, soft drinks, water and adult beverages, including beer, wine and Irish whiskey, will be available for purchase.

Tickets on are $8 purchased before March 10. Admission at the door is $10. Children 12 and younger will be admitted at no charge.

The event is sponsored by the Dublin AM Rotary Club and proceeds benefit the organization's activities, philanthropic efforts and its charitable foundation.

The children's Wee Folk area will include games, crafts a balloon artist and other activities from noon to 3:30 p.m.

The schedule includes:

* 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. - Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance performances and a clinic; Columbus Zoo animals, airbrush tattoos, magician, fairies, crafts, Irish cultural exhibits and demonstrations by local science, technology and service organizations.

* 4 p.m. -- The Ladies of Longford.

* 6 p.m. -- Best Legs in a Kilt contest.

* 7:30 p.m. -- The Prodigals

* 9:30 p.m. -- The Reaganomics.

For additional information go to