Meet Sheila Murphy Crawford, Our 2018 Grand Marshall

St. Patrick’s Day: the day we all get to feel a little bit Irish. Clevelanders have been gathering to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day since 1842! The 2018 Parade is on Saturday, March 17 at 1:04pm. This year’s Grand Marshall is Sheila Murphy Crawford. 

Get details about when and where to see the parade here…

Sheila Crawford’s grandparents came from County Cork and West Meath. She attended Regina High School, the University of Dayton (B.S. degree in Education) and Cleveland State University for a Master’s degree in English. She married her best friend, Bob Crawford in 1981; after 36 years of marriage, they are still best friends.

She’s a certified Irish dance teacher and founded the Murphy Irish Arts Center in 1978. She has proudly led the Murphy Irish Dancers in 39 consecutive St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Cleveland. Sheila served five terms as President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and then with her sister Joan was Co-Director of the Ohio Degree Team for ten years. In 1993 she was honored as Hibernian of the Year.

Her parents were very active in the Irish Cultural Garden and in 1993 Sheila became the Director of the Irish Cultural Garden. She has volunteered over 40 years in the Cultural Gardens, spearheaded a restoration of the Irish Cultural Garden, served as Vice-President of the Cultural Gardens Federation for over 12 years, Chairman of the Design & Preservation Committee for 5 years, and President of the Federation for 5 years. She chaired the One World Day celebration the past 2 years which brought 20 thousand visitors to the gardens and the 100th Anniversary celebrations of the Cultural Gardens in 2016.

Sheila has received many honors: St. John Vianney Church honored her for her cultural contributions to the Irish Community of Cleveland in 2005; in 2008, the Irish American Archives Society “Walks of Life” award; in 2011, she was elected “Honorary Co-Chair” of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. (LAOH); in 2015, Irish Echo Newspaper – Irish Woman of Influence Award in New York (Mayo Society); in 2018, Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Irish American Club, East Side).  She is the 3rd woman in the 176 year history of the parade to receive this honor; and in April, she will be inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame  (Cleveland

Sheila taught English at Brush High School for 32 years and coached the majorette corps for 20 years. She coached several sports teams and choreographed numerous musicals for the high school Music Department and community theater groups. Sheila was honored as Teacher of the Year in 1973.

Find Out Where to See the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day When You’re Really Irish

Try Emily’s Recipe for Bangers & Mash

Nana’s Irish Soda Bread

 Creamy, Cheesy Irish Rarebit

Adult’s Only Dessert for St. Patrick’s Day

Take This Quiz to Find Out How Irish You Are

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Author: Megan Huff


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