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Metz clan wins again at Adrian St. Patrick's Day parade

ADRIAN -- Mary Lursen has passed on her pride in her Irish heritage to the rest of her family.

Lursen was one of about 30 members of the "Metz clan" who participated in Friday's annual St. Patrick's Day parade down Adrian's Maine Avenue. The whole event may transpire over a course of only a few short minutes, but it's been cemented as an annual rite.

"When they started the parade out, they gave prizes for the biggest clan, and that was us," Lursen recalled. "We've got a big family, and a lot of them live around here and have been doing it since the parade was started."

The Metz group branches out each year to include nieces and nephews, cousins, grandchildren and other relatives, Lursen said. A grandmother herself, Mary was born and raised in Adrian and has lived in the community all her life.

"Our mom was an Owens, and her dad came from Ireland," Lursen said.

As long as Lursen and Gayle Buss of Adrian can remember, their Metz clan has been the largest at the St. Patrick's Day parade. According to parade coordinator Barb Strassman, the event has been taking place in town for at least the last 25 years.

"We're undefeated," Buss said. "Every year but last year, we've won $25 in Chamber bucks."

Temperatures for Friday's parade -- about three blocks in length -- were in the low 20s. It certainly could've been a lot worse, Buss added.

"One year the kids were in shorts and roller-bladed down main street," she said. "We've had wind, snow, you name it. Today is fine; at least we're not getting wet."

A younger generation of Metzes was enjoying being part of the festivities as well. Lursen's grandchildren, eighth-grade twins Heidi and Heather Lursen of Adrian, were dressed in plenty of holiday-appropriate accessories, as was their cousin, seventh-grader Haley Bosse of Jefferson, S.D.

The youths were looking forward to spending time with their extended family that night. They were happy to be together -- and part of the parade.

"It's a great honor to be here," Haley said.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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