Clare natives and longtime Clare businessmen Jim and Dean Doherty have been named as the Grand Marshals for the 2012 Irish Festival Parade.
The 37th annual Irish Festival will take place March 14 through the 18th in Clare. The two brothers will be featured in the Irish Festival parade down McEwan Street, which starts at noon on Saturday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day.
Jim and Dean are the sons of Reine and AJ Doherty, and the fourth generation of the family to own and operate the Doherty Hotel, a City landmark and one of the City’s oldest continuing businesses. The Doherty opened in the spring of 1924. The hotel has also been an important part of the annual Clare Irish Festival since it first began 37 years ago.
Jim said he has been working at the hotel 21 years, and his brother Dean for 25 years.
Dean is a 1978 graduate of Clare High School with a 1982 Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in Marketing and Business Administration. After college he worked in various restaurants in Dallas, Texas for four years, returning to Clare in 1986 to take the hotel reins from his father.
He has two sons, is a member of the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce, the Clare Visitor’s Bureau, Chemical Bank Board of Directors, Clare’s Main Street Committee, the Downtown Development Authority and is a past member of Clare Kiwanis.
Jim Doherty is a 1981 Clare High School graduate. He also attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management in 1986. For the next four years he worked for Westin Hotels in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania then returned to Clare in 1990 to join Dean in running the family hotel.
Jim is married to Renee Doherty and they have two daughters and four sons.
He has served his community through the MMC-Clare Performance Improvement Board, Clare Community Foundation Board of Directors, Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Clare HOST program and Junior Achievement.
Special events during this year’s Festival will include an Irish Recipe Contest in the Clare High School Cafeteria March 15 at 5:30 p.m.; an ongoing Karaoke Star Search contest at Gateway Lanes; Walgreens ongoing Irish Festival Past Photo Contest with online registration; the annual Irish Festival Best Frame Doubles at Gateway Lanes; a March 14 Business Window Decorating Judging; and the Kathy Rynearson Memorial Food Drive at Witbeck’s Family Foods.
Irish cuisine lovers will be able to find an Irish specialty at nearly every restaurant in town during the four day festival. There will be an Irish Rover Contest, a Leprechaun Contest, a 5K and 10K Road Race, Bed Races, a kid’s carnival, a craft show and much more to enjoy.
The complete schedule of events will be in next week’s issue of the Review or one can be picked up at local businesses. It is also available on line at www.claremichigan.com or at http://irish.claremichigan.com.