CelticFest begins with grand marshal breakfast at Lynch’s Tavern

Irish-American Club President Scott Scandalito and CelticFest grand marshal Mino Duffy Kramer chat with an attendee Friday morning during a breakfast held at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Port Huron. It was the first event of the 2015 CelticFest. (Tony Wittkowski | Times Herald)

Irish-American Club President Scott Scandalito and CelticFest grand marshal Mino Duffy Kramer chat with an attendee Friday morning during a breakfast held at Lynch’s Irish Pub in Port Huron. It was the first event of the 2015 CelticFest. (Tony Wittkowski | Times Herald)

By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald

Amid the green decorations inside Lynch’s Irish Tavern, Mino Duffy Kramer stood smiling as her fellow Irishmen applauded.

The Port Huron resident was humbled upon discovering last week that she would be the 2015 CelticFest grand marshal.

“I know a lot of the past grand marshals, so I was happy to be in such illustrious company,” Duffy Kramer said. “I’m very honored and look forward to being a part of the parade.”

Duffy Kramer is best known for creating the life-size bronze Thomas Edison statue near the St. Clair River in Port Huron.

Some of those grand marshals were present for the sash ceremony, including Duffy Kramer’s brother — George “Sandy” Duffy Jr., of Port Huron Township.

As last year’s grand marshal, Scott Scandalito presented Duffy Kramer with her sash to kick off CelticFest.

CelticFest is a slew of events sponsored by the Irish-American Club in the month of March.

More than 40 people arrived at Lynch’s for breakfast, where they were served pancakes, omelets and sausage.

The Irish community gathered in the bar as early as 6 a.m. to swap stories and catch up with old friends.

Lynch’s — located at 210 Huron Blvd., Port Huron — has held the inaugural breakfast since it opened in 2012.

“We are the unofficial home of the Irish-American Club,” said Scandalito, who serves as club president and is the owner of Lynch’s. “They adopted us before we even opened. The way that everyone comes together is just a fun way to celebrate our Irish heritage.”

The board chooses its marshal based on at-large nominations made by the public.

One of the responsibilities Duffy Kramer will have to shoulder is riding in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 14.

The parade will begin at Pine Grove Park and continue through downtown Port Huron. Since the Military Street bridge is closed, Scandalito said the route will continue toward the East Quay parking lot where it will end at the ThumbCoast Brewing Company.

Scandalito said the responsibilities of the grand marshal includes attending the many events throughout CelticFest, including the St. Patrick’s Day Banquet and the Irish Drinking Song Contest to be held Sunday at Lynch’s.

While the grand marshal is not expected to be at every event, Scandalito said it is imperative they take part in the parade no matter what the weather produces.

With Duffy Kramer set to board the back of a Chevy Camaro convertible for the event, Scandalito had some words of wisdom to pass along.

“Dress warm for the parade. That’s the most important advice I can give,” he said.

St. Clair resident Tim Kack serves as the club’s secretary and said they couldn’t have picked a better person to represent the Irish community in Port Huron.

“We thought she would bring a little more awareness to CelticFest,” he said. “A lot of people know her and wanted her to be grand marshal.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 6, 2015)

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