80,000 people line Limerick streets for St. Patrick’s Day Parade
More than 80,000 spectators soaked up the spring sunshine and carnival atmosphere of Ireland’s largest regional St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Limerick City today (Thursday, 17 March 2016).
Parade Grand Marshal, local actor Myles Breen, led more than 4,000 participants from 100 different community groups, companies, bands and sports clubs from across Limerick and Ireland for the parade which is organised by Grooveyard Productions on behalf of Limerick City and County Council and Limerick 2020. This year’s theme was ‘Commemorate’ celebrating Limerick’s legacy, its people and its places.
Among the participants in this year’s Parade were pop duo Jedward and Fidget Feet Ariel Dance Company which performed a crane show over the city centre streets.
Meanwhile, street arts company Spraoí brought their spectacular Stag Show to Limerick’s main thoroughfares, Artastic and Spotlight Dance School provided a show-stopping spectacle, and The Workhouse Studio thrilled the crowds with their giant puppet and a host of colourful costumes. Other parade participants included The Fanzini Brothers, Danger Boy, Outside the Box, Flying Wheels, Clown Noir and Passepartout along with a wide range of local performance groups.
“Great credit is due to the organisers, including Creative Director Aidan Phelan, and participants of this year’s parade which is one of the largest ever hosted in the City,” said Cllr. Liam Galvin, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick.
“Today was all about celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Limerick City and County as well as Ireland’s National Day. This year’s Easter Rising Centenary has afforded all of us to reflect on this country’s achievements,” said the Mayor.
He continued, “Those who helped to create the Republic we know and cherish today would be proud of the vibrant, diverse and multicultural society we have become today as evidenced in the faces and celebratory mood of the many thousands who lined the route of this year’s Limerick St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
The Limerick St Patrick’s Festival continues this coming Sunday from 12 noon on Sunday when 1,200 musicians from 18 groups, including a 280-strong marching band from the University of Missouri, take part in the 46th Limerick International Band Championship.
Ireland’s only international band competition will see groups from the USA, Northern Ireland, Kerry, Limerick, Westmeath, Donegal, Dublin, Tipperary and Cork parade from Pery Square and down O’Connell Street to Arthurs Quay.
Each band will be afforded three minutes performance time in front of the review stand and all the bands will assemble for a jamboree in Arthurs Quay Park after they have performed. This year’s adjudication panel features six internationally respected judges, including four from the United States.
At Arthurs Quay Park, the Championship prizes which this year includes the inaugural Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Overall Parade Champion’. The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Commemorate’.
More details on the 2016 Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival can be found on www.limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival.