HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Holyoke honored one of their own Saturday night, crowning the 2014 Grand Colleen. This year marked the pageant’s 60th anniversary.
The top five contestants competed for the crown, and for a chance to represent their city in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade.
“I just came into this thinking I’m going to do the best I can, I’m going to be myself, be true to you,” said 20-year-old contestant Sheila Fallon. For Fallon, it paid off. After competing in interview, poise and appearance categories, she was crowned Holyoke’s 2014 Grand Colleen.
“It feels absolutely surreal, it’s been my dream my whole entire life, and I’m just so proud,” said Fallon. “I really can’t believe this is happening right now.”
Becoming the next Grand Colleen definitely has its perks, but after you get the crown, there’s a lot of hard work involved.
“They’ll be at every great community event until the parade. They’ll be marching, obviously, on the Grand Colleen float on parade day. It’s something a lot of people get really excited about,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse.
The Grand Colleen will also be working with students in schools across Holyoke, and will become a representative not just for the city, but for the Irish community as well. You’ll have a chance to meet the 2014 Grand Colleen at the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade on Sunday, March 23rd.