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The St. Patrick’s Day Parade Extravaganza Committee in Sioux Falls found a legit Irish American man to be the event’s March 18 grand marshal.
Dick Sweetman is an actual citizen of Ireland whose family traces its lineage back 10 generations into the early 1700s. The family hails from the County Wexford along the southeast coast of Ireland.
Sweetman, 86, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1958. The Sweetman name is a familiar one. He headed Sweetman Construction Co. from 1959 to 1996 and was founder of the Ellis and Eastern Railroad. He was part of the leadership team for Ramkota Cos. and Kelly Inns.
Sweetman and his wife, Kathy, donated the state’s first planetarium. It will open later this year in the Washington Pavilion.
This year is the 43rd year for the event. It starts at 11 a.m. with the traditional painting of a shamrock in front of Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Gifts at 219 S. Phillips Ave. The parade follows.
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