When it comes to staging St Patrick's Day parades and events, Cavan is second to none with 14 parades to be staged all over the Breffni county. If you're wondering where to shake your shamrocks this Friday, SEAN MCMAHON has brought you this special preview...
Cavan will go green (white and orange) this Friday as people from right across the community and business spectrum will bring flair, creativity and musical talent to the streets of our towns.
Tully twins in CavanThe county town parade will commence at the traditional time of 12.30pm. All floats and marching bands will assemble in the large Main Street carpark before setting off. The chairman of the parade organising committee, Michael Mooney, says that seven marching bands will feature in this year's parade and the stars of the TV3 Google Box, the Tully twins, have been chosen as this year's Grand Marshalls.Up to 100 floats will be participating from business and community organisations and sporting clubs to a little comedy and light entertainment. Rumour has it that, along with St Patrick himself, Donald Trump might just put in an appearance.
Mr Mooney says the parade is a great showcase for the town and he is looking forward to lots of innovation and colour in the floats. He also praised businesses and retailers for contributing, as always, to the atmosphere of the occasion in dressing their shop windows.
Plenty of colour in KilleshandraThe colourful Killeshandra parade will commence at 12.30pm and entry is on the day from 11.30am and everyone is welcome to come along and participate.The parade participants will assemble at the Ballyconnell road and a lot of effort has gone in to make this year’s parade the best ever. There will be cash prizes and the categories include Most T, Best Novelty, Best Community Organisation, Best Old Time/Vintage, Best Commercial and on Foot and Best Overall. For further information contact Gerry on 087-2333857.
Kingscourt goes back to 1947The theme of the big parade in Kingscourt this year is 1947! The parade will commence at 1pm and, once again, scores of floats and organisations will participate, reflecting life as it is lived in the area at this time. This will be the 46th parade and it will assemble on the Dublin Road.Cllr Clifford Kelly (FF) is on the organising committee. He says it is still one of the largest parades in the North East region and four bands will be providing vibrant and entertaining music as they traverse the long wide street of the town. He says that the local drama group are also using their creativity to bring additional colour to this year’s parade.The parade will be led by a grand marshal and the St Mary’s Brass and Reed Band and Cllr Kelly reveals that the parade is set to attract even more floats this year and President Trump could well make a colourful appearance. There will be the usual competition for the best ‘Shop Window’. Other features include Best Industrial Float, Best Club/Organisation on Float or walking. Novelty floats will be especially welcome.
Prizes galore in BailieboroughThe Bailieborough parade will commence at 2pm at the Community School on the Virginia Road. There will be prizes for the best float, best comedy float and there will also be prizes for the best dressed window display. There will be a wonderful diverse array of floats depicting the Town and hinterland at work and play with great hilarity and creativity.
Cross border celebrations in Blacklion/BelcooThe parade in Blacklion/Belcoo will take place this year at 2.30pm and this is a unique event in that it straddles the Border to add great entertainment to the festivities in both adjacent villages. The Florencecourt Pipe Band will fill the air with some great music as the floats and participants showcase this unique and historic area.
St Patrick in BallyconnellThe biggest parade in the west of the county takes place in Ballyconnell and it commences at 3pm; while the floats will assemble beforehand at Rakeelan. The man himself, St Patrick, will lead the parade followed by the very popular Mountain Road Pipe Band.One of the organisers, Susan McVitty, says that up to 40 colourful and entertaining floats are expected to participate. A number of new floats will be participating for the first time.There will be talented Traditional Irish musicians from Comhaltas will also provide entertainment; while Irish dancers will be showcasing their talents. There will be a total of five awards given out on the day in the form of engraved trophies and all participants will receive certificates. Ms McVitty adds that the parade attracts great crowd and it generates a great atmosphere around the town and all the pubs will have musical entertainment.
Expect fairies in CootehillThe annual Cootehill parade will commence at 3pm and all the floats and other participants will assemble outside the Library in Bridge Street. There is a big emphasis this year on entertainment in the street, according to the president of the Chamber of Commerce, John Joe Lennon. Groups playing music outside of the pubs will also add a great a great buzz to the festive atmosphere from 2pm.There will be a fairy fancy dress parade in association with Erica’s Fairy Forest and registration for this event will take place at the Side Street Cafe before the parade commences. So make sure you get all your little fairies dressed and registered early, so they can participate in the parade and win valuable cash prizes on the day. The Bunnoe Brass Band will be providing the vibrant music on the day as the parade winds its way through the town, complimented by an Army Colour party.
On parade in KilnaleckThe Kilnaleck Parade is one of the of the longest running parades in the county and this great community event will commence at the usual time of 3pm.There will be lots of music courtesy of the talented members of the local Comhaltas and the Clontibret Pipe band will be providing some great music on the march, together with a number of other marching bands.Those participating in the parade are asked to assemble at Ball Alley on Ballinagh road and entry is free.
Truck run in BallyjamesduffThe annual Ballyjamesduff Parade will commence at 4pm and will be preceded by a major truck run for Autism through the town at 3.30pm, so all those assembling for the parade are asked to take this event into consideration and make sure to get to the assembly point at the Co-Op Mart early.The parade will feature marching bands including the Clontibret Band and a number of dance troupes. There will also be lots of community and business floats reflecting different takes on Ballyjamesduff at work and play. There will be prizes for the best dressed window and also for the best float and there will also be a second prize.
A warm welcome in SwanlinbarBack to the west and a warm welcome awaits for the Swanlinbar Parade, which will commence at 4pm from Trivia House. All entrants are asked to assemble on the Creamery Road. The official opening of the new bridge will take place at the start of the parade and Alanna Maher, Josie Gilheaney and her brother James McGovern will do the honours. The trailer of warmth raffle tickets €5 are available locally.Music will be provided by ‘Wee 3’ together with local Irish Dancers in the Square. There will be prizes for best dressed garden which will be judged on Thursday. Best dressed shop window will be chosen on the day. The Cornalun Cup and the Andy Kelly memorial shield will be presented for the best floats.
Busking and dogs in Ballinagh
The parade in Ballinagh is distinct as it always includes a dog parade and a busking competition on the street. The parade will commence from the community centre car park at 4.30pm. The floats will be creative and reflect the fine community spirit that prevails in the area and there will also be marching bands to bring lively musical energy to the proceedings. There will be competitions with prizes for best floats, fancy dress and best dressed windows and, of course, the popular dog parade. There will be a great atmosphere in the town and this will be complimented by the busking competition and Traditional Irish music and entertainment on the platform for one hour prior to the parade. The local vintage club will also be out in strength and people from other vintage clubs are welcome to also participate.
Last but not least in MullaghThe latest parade in the county will take place in Mullagh at 5pm and, once again, promises to be a wonderful, colourful community event with marching bands and numerous floats depicting themes that reflect live and work in the area. The wide street is conducive to a great atmosphere for all the family.
OUTSIDE THE COUNTY
Flying the flag in OldcastleThe Oldcastle St Patrick's Day parade hosted by the Vintners will commence at 12.15pm and there is no entry fee for floats. The parade will be lead by E. Coy. 27th Res INF BN Colour Party and Troop and there will be traditional music with local musicians, stage entertainment,There will cash prizes in the following categories – Best Overall float, local float 1st, 2nd and 3rd; Best Vintage Display and best topical float. Cash prize for the best fancy dress with a St Patrick's Day theme. Those participating in the parade should assemble at 11am at Gilson Park/Showhall. The band called 'The Music Room' will be performing prior to the parade.The Credit Union Car Draw will take place on the Square after the parade.
News from BallinamoreThe organisers are pulling out all the stops to ensure this year’s parade at 4pm in Ballinamore is the best and they want you all to get involved. The Kiltubrid Pipe Band will be providing vibrant music and there will also be varied platform entertainment.The theme of this year’s parade is ‘An Nuacht’, so use your creativity and make up your own news. It can be topical or laced with fun and entertainment value with good taste. The floats are asked to meet at 3.30pm and the participants will assemble in the Tesco Car Park.
The Parade Schedule
Cavan Town - 12.30pmKilleshandra - 12.30pmKingscourt – 1pmCootehill – 3pmBailieborough – 2.30pmBallyjamesduff 4pmBallyconnell – 3pmMullagh Parade 5pmArva Parade 3pmKilnaleck 3pmBallinagh – 4.30pmSwanlinbar – 4pmMullagh 5pmBlacklion/Belcoo Parade - 2.30pm
Outside the CountyOldcastle – 12.15pmBallinamore - 4pm