PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As Philadelphia gets ready  for its 241st annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday, a special proclamation was given today at City Hall.

With a bit of levity, Mayor Nutter presented a special proclamation to the St. Patrick’s Day Observance  Association.

mayor nutter sister james ann mcdevitt side With Spirits High, Philadelphia Gets Ready For St. Patricks Parade” I, Michael A. O’Nutter, mayor of the City of Philadelphia, do here by  proclaim the month of March 2011 as Irish Month,” he said.

The grand marshal of Sunday’s parade is  Sister James Anne (right), a teacher at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Educational Center in Bryn Mawr.

“Well, the theme was ‘Saint Patrick, Bless Our Religious Sisters, Who Inspire and Educate.’  And it’s just a beautiful theme,  so I think the committee  just wanted to honor all of the good that the religious have done in our city and surrounding area for so many years,” she said.

Sister James is an Irish dancer who performed in her first parade in the 1950s.  She judged the parade performances for 25 years, and now becomes the third female grand marshal since the position was created in the 1950s.

She joined a group of traditional dancers in the mayor’s reception to demonstrate her talent (top left).

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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