The 2017 Grand Marshal is Ian Byrne

Ian Byrne is well-known in Kansas City and beyond as the lead singer of The Elders, an Irish band. He is also an accomplished woodworker who does commercial and residential custom millwork and woodwork at Byrne Custom Woodworking.  Ian grew up in Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland  and moved to the U.S. in 1987 with his American-born wife, Kathy Quinn, past Martin City St. Patrick Parade Grand Marshal and Fox 4 News reporter.   

In 1990 Ian started Byrne Custom Woodworking in a double-car garage.  As the business grew it moved around the metro area, including a shop in Grandview and Martin City.  Currently the business has a 3,000 sq.ft. space in Lenexa and a family owned retail store, Off the Floor Woodwork, in Waldo.  It’s a place you can find furniture, shutters, and unique items of home decor made from scrap wood.

Per Ian, “Specializing in custom furniture, cabinets of all sorts and also plantation shutters, we have created many beautiful pieces over the years. In creating these fine pieces we also created a pile of small unusable pieces of what would normally be titled as “trash wood” or “off fall”. With this “off fall” in mind, I started “Off the Floor Art” to reclaim and use these pieces of wood to create one of a kind wall art and furniture. My hope is when people see these pieces of furniture and art, they will feel happy and content knowing that the beautiful and natural elements they are enjoying could have easily ended up in the trash can. Creating and finishing these pieces make me and my associates extremely happy. We get our ideas and inspiration from people, architecture, paintings, music and the air that we all breathe. We would love to make your dreams and ideas become reality.”

When Ian is not utilizing his talents to transform a piece of wood or creating a custom piece of furniture, he is performing with the band, The Elders. The Elders were founded in 1998 by six individuals with a passion for music rooted in Americana and Celtic folk rock. From the beginning The Elders seemed to be channeling something ancient and enduring – something unaffected by fads, trends and the giant maw of mind-numbing commercialism. Their ability to bring together the art of storytelling with elements both musically progressive and rooted in tradition, has won them a broad international fan base, as well as critical acclaim in numerous publications such as PASTE Magazine, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange, Music Row Magazine, Goldmine Magazine, TRAD Magazine (France), Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star and many more.

The Elders have headlined at major Celtic Festivals in North American and Europe, play over 110 shows a year.  The band have also sponsored over the last 14 years a tour of Ireland in which fans are invited to join in an extraordinary 13 day excursion visiting historical and geographical sights during the day and gathering at local pub or ballroom at night for pints and performances by the band.  

This year, The Elders will be performing immediately after the Martin City St. Patrick’s Parade in the Event Tent.  More about Ian and The Elders can be found at https://www.eldersmusic.com/ .