Lexington community benefactor to lead annual event

Deirdre Lyons has been named grand marshal of the 41st Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade.

The Alltech Lexington St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival is honoring one of the event’s original supporters as its 2020 parade grand marshal. Deirdre Lyons, co-founder of Alltech, will lead the annual celebration on Saturday, March 14 in downtown Lexington.

The partnership between Alltech and the Lexington St. Patrick’s parade is longstanding. Since the first parade in 1980, Lyons and Alltech, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, have been ardent supporters.

“When Pearse and I moved our young family to Kentucky from Ireland, we were delighted to see the traditions of home preserved by the Bluegrass Irish Society,” said Deirdre Lyons. “We have supported the St. Patrick’s festivities ever since, and it is my honor to be named grand marshal of the parade. I look forward to celebrating with the community that has embraced us for more than four decades.”

“Since the very first St. Patrick’s parade in Lexington, the support of Mrs. Lyons and Alltech has helped us grow into on of the longest running civic events in the community,” said Megan Moloney, parade chair and president of the Bluegrass Irish Society. “We are honored to recognize Mrs. Lyons for the many years of sponsorship she and the late Dr. Pearse Lyons, and Alltech, have provided to the Bluegrass Irish Society and this signature event.”

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Deirdre Lyons is the co-founder and director of corporate image and design for Alltech, a global bio-technology company headquartered in Central Kentucky. A graduate of University College Dublin, Deirdre moved to Kentucky in 1977 with her husband, Dr. Pearse Lyons, and their two small children, Aoife and Mark.

Three years later, Deirdre and Pearse founded Alltech with the goal of delivering smarter, more sustainable solutions for agriculture. Today, Alltech has more than 5,000 team members supporting its business presence in over 120 countries. Their products improve the health and performance of plants and animals, resulting in better nutrition for consumers and a decreased environmental impact.

Deirdre Lyons has achieved national and international accolades on behalf of Kentucky through her work on the historic Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010; various art initiatives, including the annual Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition and Alltech Celebration of Song; humanitarian endeavors as far away as Haiti and as close as local primary schools where she has implemented science laboratories to encourage students to explore the world around them through a scientific lens. She participates in numerous leadership boards in Kentucky, including the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the Lexington Convention Center. She is instrumental in visitor experience at Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. and Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery in Pikeville, which was established to create jobs and attract tourism in Eastern Kentucky.  In 2019, Lyons was recognized with the VisitLEX award for her tireless efforts to promote the region. 

The Lexington Division of Parks and Recreation produces the annual St. Patrick’s 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 annual Shamrock Shuffle 3K to benefit Lexington Habitat for Humanity. 

The Irish festival kicks off at the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse with the annual “Blessing of the Keg” at the Alltech tents on the courthouse plaza at 10:45 a.m.  Irish musicians, dancers and pipe bands keep the entertainment going all day.  The annual parade begins at 1 p.m. and goes down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street.

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Deirdre Lyons named 2020 Parade Grand Marshal