The Grand Marshal for the 14th Annual Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade will be retired Yarmouth Police K9 Officer Peter B. McClelland, who will lead the parade. This year’s parade is in honor of Sgt. Sean Gannon and his K9 partner Nero, who together marched in last year’s parade.
The parade will begin at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 9, 2019 and will travel along Route 28 in Yarmouth. The theme of this year’s parade is the “Spirit of the Community.”
Peter McClelland encompasses all aspects of this year’s theme for the parade. He worked for the Yarmouth Police Department for 30 years and most of those years were spent being a K9 dog handler. Mr. McClelland trained K9 Nero from the time he was a puppy and started training him with Yarmouth Police Officer Sean Gannon, who eventually took him full time.
After the tragic events that took place on April 12, 2018, where Officer Sean Gannon was fatally shot in the line of duty, and K9 Nero sustained critical injuries, McClelland rushed to the hospital where he stood by K9 Nero’s side during his surgery. Mr. McClelland continued to stay by Nero’s side day and night for six days in the ICU. K9 Nero was eventually sent home with Mr. McClelland for three months of rehabilitation. K9 Nero returned to the Gannon home in August.
“The people of Cape Cod were left devastated after the senseless loss of Officer Sean Gannon, and the injuries to K9 Nero. Mr. McClelland’s dedication, compassion and strength during Nero’s recovery along with his continual updates on Nero’s progress, helped to lift the spirits of this heartbroken Cape Cod community at a time when it was greatly needed,” said Desmond Keogh, Chairman for the Cape Cod St. Patrick’s Parade Committee.
The parade will also feature floats constructed by local businesses plus marching bands, dancers, pipe bands, antique cars, trucks, first responders from around the community… and a few surprises!! All police departments across Massachusetts and from "across the pond" have also been invited to participate in this year’s parade.
The parade route runs from Bass River Sports World on Long Pond Drive west, along Route 28, for about two miles, to the Town ’n Country Motel. Many businesses along the parade route will remain open during and after the festivities.