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Ball named 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade grand marshal

This year's New Richmond St. Patrick's Day Parade grand marshal is John Ball, Sr. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
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After Saturday, March 17, New Richmond native John Ball, Sr. can add one more honor to his list of accomplishments and recognitions in his 94 years: New Richmond St. Patrick's Day parade grand marshal.

"I'm happy to do it and I'm glad when MaryBeth asked me. I hope I can do justice to it because I knew everyone in her family. There are a lot of good Irishmen around here and they have had some good people at grand marshal in the past," Ball said.

Ball, who has lived most of his life in New Richmond, is Irish on both sides of his family and remembers what it was like to grow up with so many Irish families in the New Richmond area.

"When you were Irish around here years ago, you either went to dances, played cards or went to supper clubs," Ball said.

This year's parade will start at 2 p.m., with line-up starting at 1:30 p.m.

"I hope we have a nice day for the parade. If it stays like it has been, it would be wonderful. And I got a call the other day from my Ball relatives in St. Paul saying that they would be coming out for the parade, too," Ball said. "Before they started the St. Patrick's Day party and parades in New Richmond, five or six of us would go to St. Paul instead."

In addition to being named grand marshal, Ball was recently honored by the New Richmond American Legion Post 80 for 60 years of membership. Ball has also been part of the Knights of Columbus for 75 years.

Ball was married to Marianne, who died in 2011, for almost 60 years. The couple raised five children, including John Jr., Jim, Tom, Collen and Mark.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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