The Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. John Buttimer has announced that Mayor Edwin Lee of Cork’s sister city San Francisco has accepted an invitation to be Grand Marshal of this year’s Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Welcoming the announcement, the Lord Mayor said “We are delighted to celebrate out national holiday with Mayor Lee, particularly with this being the year of The Gathering. Our close and ongoing friendship is a testament to the strength and power of the Irish American Relationship and to the creative and cultural synergies of our two cities”. Valerie O Sullivan Director of Services, Corporate and External Affairs said “We are looking forward to seeing people from all over the world on the streets of Cork on Sunday 17th March. We expect to welcome in excess of 80,000 people into the City over the course of the weekend. We call on everyone to join us on the streets and to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day.” The Cork St. Patrick’s Festival presented by Cork City Council runs from Saturday 16th March to Monday 18th March.