With 13 St Patrick’s Day parades to be hosted around the county next Thursday, St Patrick’s Day, March 17, SEAN MCMAHON has compiled a round up of what’s happening where...
This being the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, it appears that many parades and events are running with this theme; while organising committees have pulled out all the stops to make an extra special effort in this important year.
The Cavan Town Parade is one of the first to get underway in the county. In keeping with tradition (and to allow participating bands to continue on to other parades), it will commence at 12.30pm. All floats and marching bands will assemble in the large Main Street carpark.
The chairman of the parade organising committee, Peter McGinnity, said there will be eight marching bands and singing star Áine Cahill is the Grand Marshall for the parade. Organisers are expecting up to 100 floats. Mr McGinnity said that the parade is a great showcase for the town and he is looking forward to lots of innovation and colour in the floats and shop windows for the occasion. The MC on the reviewing stand will be Paul Cox.
45th annual parade in
The big Kingscourt parade will commence at 1pm with assembly in the Mt St Joseph’s area. 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 45th parade.
One of the organisers Cllr Clifford Kelly 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.
The parade will be led by a grand marshal and the St Mary’s Brass and Reed Band, which is celebrating their 100 anniversary.
Organised by Kingscourt Community Council, there will be prizes for the best industrial/business float also best club/organisation walking or on float, also for best dressed shop window.
Bailieboro St Patrick’s Day Parade
'The 1916 Rising’ is the theme for this year’s Bailieborough parade, which gets underway at 2:30pm from the Community School on the Virginia Road. There are prizes for the best 1916-themed float and also the best window display in keeping with the theme. So come along and celebrate our National Holiday and enjoy the parade.
CCÉ Presentations in
Moving east and the annual Cootehill parade will commence at 3pm. All floats and bands and other participants will assemble outside the Livestock Mart premises on the Station Road. Music commences at 2pm. There are three bands taking part in the parade including Bunnoe Brass Band, Mullaghaboy Accordian Band and a band from Lisnaskea; while some fifty floats are also expected to participate. Organiser Gerry McDonagh told the Celt that the parade will conclude with a spectacular 1916 celebration presentation event. This will feature a presentation of the proclamation to seven members of the community for their work in the community over the years by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ) as part of their national celebration. Young people will read the proclamation aloud. There will also be a special presentation to St Aidan’s Comprehensive School to mark their 50th anniversary.
The parade will also be followed by an open air concert on the stage in the street and will feature Malt, Gene Nannon, Cootehill CCÉ and Rafter School of Music. The market Street will be closed to traffic from 2-5pm.
The biggest parade in the west of the county will take place in Ballyconnell commencing at 3pm. Floats and participants will assemble at Rakeelan. St Patrick will lead the parade followed by the very popular Mountain Road Pipe Band. Committee member 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.
Irish dancers will be showcasing their talents on the Market Square prior to the parade. 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. Everyone is welcome; there are no entry fees and the MC will be Tommy Prior.
Mrs McVitty says that the parade attracts a great crowd and it generates a carnival atmosphere around the town. 'Bob the Builder’ and many others will be on hand to entertain the children and there will also be face painting. The committee wish to thank everyone for taking part and all the volunteers who do the stewarding and the judges.
Shamrocks in Swanlinbar
Staying in the west of the county and the 10th annual St Patrick’s Day Parade will take place in Swanlinbar from 4pm. Organisers have said: “We look forward to having more floats for this year’s parade, from all organisations and individuals in the town to win the Andy Kelly Memorial Shield - our late Grand Marshall.” Prizes are up for grabs for the best dressed window in the town and also the best dressed garden in the Swanlinbar area. Please leave your name with Rosemary in the Post Office if you would like your house or garden to be judged.
A 'lively parade’ in Killeshandra
In Killeshandra, organisers are promising “a lively parade to brighten the town and entertain the community”.
The parade will commence at 12.30 from the Ballyconnell Road. Entries will be taken from 11.30am on the morning. The committee asks a representative from each float to leave details of the entry and nominate a person in charge. There will be no entry fee, while generous cash prizes are available.
Higher stakes in Arva
Extra prize money is on offer for this year’s Arva Parade with €1,000 up for grabs for the Best Float and an additional €1,000 to be divided between the runners-up. A beautiful plaque will be presented to the winner of the Best Dressed Window. Entry is free and a great day of entertainment is guaranteed for all the family. Parade starts at 3pm.
In additional to the usual parade from 4:30pm onwards, a busking competition will also take place in Ballinagh. Please register in Centra and, for all other registrations, in the Community Centre carpark. Everyone entering competitions must register. Busking is from 4-5pm.
Mullagh & Others
Committee invites all Local Clubs and organisations to take part in this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. Floats to meet at Sports Centre 4.15pm on the day. Parade starts at 5pm. Elsewhere around the county, parades are also traditionally hosted in Kilnaleck and Ballyjamesduff (see panel for times and refer to local news pages for more); while the country’s only cross-border parade takes place in Blacklion Belcoo.
Outside the county
The Oldcastle St Patrick’s Day Parade sets off at 12.15pm from Oldcastle Show Hall.
The prize fund this year is a total of €750. No entry fee - so get working on your float and make it an amazing day. Contact 0876661136 for further details. The St Patrick’s Day event in Kiltyclogher at 1.30pm will be a unique commemoration of the 1916 Centenary. The local community hope to recreate the atmosphere of that exciting year in the village. The day will feature a period costume parade, street theatre, music and an exhibition of 1916 memorabilia in the Community Centre. We’re calling on as many local groups and individuals to come along get involved and dress in costume.
If you or your group are interested in participating please call Paul on 071-985 4865 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found on www.facebook.com/kiltyclogher2016.