Former Lexington Vice Mayor to Lead March 11 Parade

Linda Gorton, the former Vice Mayor of Lexington, has been named as the Grand Marshal of the 38th Annual Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Gorton served for 16 years on the Lexington Fayette Urban County Council, retiring as Vice Mayor in January 2015. She also worked as a nurse for 43 years in public clinic, hospital and office settings.

Linda Gorton 2017 Grand Marshal
Linda Gorton will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 2017 Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade. Photo by Lexington Herald Leader, November 2013.

“Selecting Linda Gorton as the Grand Marshal was easy,” said Bill Enright, parade chair and president of the Bluegrass Irish Society. “Linda’s long record of community service through her nursing work, her many years of leadership in the city, as well as her work with Sister Cities organization and County Kildare in Ireland, made her a natural selection.”

Gorton has served her community through participation on numerous volunteer board and advisory groups. She currently serves on the board of the Lexington Philharmonic and has served on the U.K. College of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Board, the U.K. Martin School Board of Visitors, the Carnegie Center Board, the America in Bloom Lexington Board, the Friends of the Dog Park Board. She has also worked with numerous community groups and commissions including: Lexington Parks Advisory, Sister Cities, The Arboretum, Lexington Convention Center, LexArts, Senior Services Commission, Bluegrass Armed Forces Community Covenant Committee, and Bluegrass Council of Boy Scouts.

In recognition of her dedication to career and community, Gorton was named one of the U.K. College of Nursing’s 50 Outstanding Alumni and received the Baptist Health Woman’s Community Leadership Award. She received the Arboretum Bur Oak Society recognition, the LexArts Community Award, as well as the Boy Scout Silver Beaver Award for work with youth. Linda and her husband Charles, have a daughter and son-in-law at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida, a son and daughter-in-law at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and four beautiful grandchildren.

“I am honored and excited about being the parade Grand Marshal this year,” Gorton shared.

Linda Gorton at local Irish dance event
Linda Gorton, second from right, joined dancers from Bluegrass Ceili Academy at McCarthy’s Spiders Well to welcome the Irish dance school to Lexington last summer.

The Lexington Division of Parks and Recreation produces the 38th annual parade and festival with community support from local businesses and cultural organizations. The events are part of an all-day celebration that begins at 8 a.m. with the 11th annual Shamrock Shuffle to benefit Lexington Habitat for Humanity.

At 10:45 a.m., the Irish festival kicks off at a new location at the Robert F. Stephen Courthouse. The festivities continue at 11 a.m. with the annual “Blessing of the Keg” at the Alltech tents on the courthouse plaza. Among the featured performers this year are The Prodigals, veterans of the Irish Festival scene for two decades.

The annual parade, with Gorton as Grand Marshal, begins at 1 p.m. and goes down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street. The parade is the longest running citywide civic event in Lexington.

Follow @LexStPatsParade on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for information, event updates and day of coverage. Parade participants and attendees are encouraged to share their photos online, tag @LexStPatsParade and use #LexStPats2017.

Linda Gorton named Grand Marshal for Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade