PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh has become a top destination to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, and you can thank Glenn Cannon for that.
“Parade day was always a holiday in my family, but really he enjoyed it and had so much fun,” Glenn Cannon’s son Grant said.
The former Pittsburgh Public Safety Director had two loves outside of his family — Pittsburgh and his Irish heritage.
“He’s part of the reason it came back and its well known throughout the country to come and enjoy the parade,” Grand Marshal Tim Finnerty said.
Cannon helped to make the parade the family event people flock to year after year.
He passed away in January and the parade committee decided to honor him.
It’s only the second time the parade has honored someone in their history.
“His memory will live on but we wanted to make sure he was recognized for everything that he has done for us,” Finnerty said.
“It’s tremendous to know that his thumbprint will always be on the city and the celebration of Ireland,” Cannon said about his fathers honor.
Cannon was a fixture on parade day.
Grant vividly remembers his dad announcing the groups coming by and always adding some extra details that weren’t on the script.
“It was dad’s personal touch that he could put on the presentation of it and I’ll never forget that,” Cannon said.
So parade day won’t be the easier for the Cannon family
“It’s going to be tough whenever we walk down to the end of the parade route and not being able to hear him,” Cannon said.
Seeing the smiling faces of everyone along the route may just be a small way to mend the hole in their hearts.
“He will always be part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.”