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Frank Kliegl Named Grand Marshall For 2017 St. Patrick’s Parade

By Staff | Feb 21, 2017

GRAND MARSHAL -- Frank Kliegl was named Grand Marshal of the 2017 St. Patrick’s Parade in Emmetsburg. He is pictured (center) with St. Pat’s Board members (from the left) Chris Kliegl, Board Secretary and Irish Gift Shop manager; Brent and Steph Mehan, Dave VanOosbree, Corinda Walker, Frank Kliegl, Nick Fank, Kory Hagen, Andy Joyce and Jason Bauer. The annual St. Patrick’s Parade will be held Saturday, March 18. --Jane Whitmore photo

Frank Kliegl of Emmetsburg will lead the 2017 St. Patrick’s Parade as Grand Marshal. The announcement was made last week by the St. Patrick’s Association Board of Directors.

“I was at The Shores playing bags and got a call from Steph Mehan, wondering where I was,” said Kliegl. “Pretty soon, the whole group came marching through the door. I had no clue whatsoever.”

Kliegl’s interaction with St. Pat’s goes back to “day one,” he says. He served on the Board of Directors for a time. In the early 1960s, members of the Brennan family walked in the parade with buttons saying “Me Mither Was A Brennan.”

His mother (Bernadette) was Irish and his father (Warren) was German, and both families were among the early pioneers who settled in Palo Alto County. On the Irish side, Bernadette’s parents are the Bennans from Kilkenny and the Flemings from County Mayo in Ireland.

While Frank has never been to Ireland, it’s on his bucket list. It’s all about family and relatives, including the Kibbie, Higgins, Conlon and Joyce families.

Frank Kliegl’s family all gathers in Emmetsburg for St. Patrick’s Day. He and his wife, Donna, have been married 36 years and raised four daughters:?Amanda (Darren Fischels) of Okoboji, Abby (Justin Wilging)?of Bend, OR, Alissa of Gilbertville and Allory of Waterloo.

His siblings include Bernadette (Larry)?Joyce of Emmetsburg, Jim (Chris) Kliegl of Emmetsburg, Pat (Kathy)?Kliegl of Jefferson, Terry (Jeanie)?Kliegl of Indianapolis, Mike Kliegl of Des Moines and the late Joe Kliegl.

Frank Kliegl is a lifelong resident of Emmetsburg, and a graduate of Emmetsburg High School. He served in the U.S. Army from 1974 to 1976 and returned to Emmetsburg.

Frank worked for Upper Des Moines Opportunity for five years as Youth Services Director. He then went into business on his own as a contractor.

Kliegl began working for the City of Emmetsburg one year ago as Public Works Director.

“I’m just trying to get things done. I?like to keep things moving forward,” he said. “We’ve got a good young crew and they like staying busy.”

“Fireman Frank” has served with the?Emmetsburg Fire Department for 35 years. He has served as Fire Chief for 17 of those years.

Emmetsburg Fire Department is always a part of the St. Patrick’s Parade.

“We always bring the 1916 truck,” he said.

Emmetsburg bought the truck in June 1916 and the fire department used it until the mid 1940s. The water department used the truck for 15 years or so before it came back to the fire department and put into storage.

“We started refurbishing the 1916 in 1991 and we still work on it every year,” said Kliegl. “At one point it was John Deere green and we worked hard to get that green off and repainted it to red.”

Emmetsburg Fire Department hosts the Gathering of the Clans after the St. Pat’s Parade. This is the seventh year the fire department has collaborated with St. Pat’s to host the event. It’s an event that has grown every year. Families and friends gather at the fire hall for refreshments and entertainment.

Frank Kliegl and family will be a part of that celebration once again. His daughters will be home and bring their friends with them.

This year, in addition to organizing events at the fire hall, Frank Kliegl will be leading the parade and attending other events of the weekend.

Emmetsburg’s annual St. Patrick’s Celebration is March 17 and 18. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.