Cavan may be one of the smaller, more rural counties in Ireland but it has the unique distinction of being the county to host the most St Patrick's Day parades annually - a real sign of our strength of community spirit and celebration of our Irishness. Reporter SEAN MCMAHON has the RUN down on all the parades throughout the region on March 17...
Once again there are a superb array of parades scheduled right across the county and neighbouring counties for St Patrick’s Day on this Sunday, when people from right across the community and business spectrum will bring flair, creativity and musical talent to the streets of our towns.
CRAIC IN CAVAN TOWN
After much speculation as to whether or not the parade would happen this year, the Cavan Town Parade will commence at its traditional time of 12.30pm and all participating floats and marching bands are being asked to assemble in the Main Street carpark beforehand. The chairman of the parade’s organising committee, Michael Mooney, says this year’s parade will feature lots of variety with an emphasis on delivering a fun-filled and entertaining event for all the family.
Many groups and clubs have been partnered up with the owners of commercial vehicles.
Michael is encouraging retailers and businesses to dress their shop windows to enhance the atmosphere.
SHAMROCKS IN KILLESHANDRA
The colourful Killeshandra parade will commence at 12.30 and entry is on the day IS from 11.30am with everyone urged to come along and participate. The Mountain Road Pipe Band will be leading the parade and there is always great community participation.
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 Topical, Best Novelty, Best Community Organisation, Best Old Time/Vintage, Best float as Gaeilge, Best Commercial and on Foot and Best Overall. For further information contact Gerry Duffy on 087-2333857 or Joe Hayes.
KING OF PARADES IN KINGSCOURT
The big Kingscourt 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 48th parade and it will assemble on the Dublin road and is recognised as one of the largest parades in the region.
Clifford Kelly says there will be five marching bands filling the air with vibrant music including the local St Mary’s Brass and Reed Band. All the clubs in the area will be participating and there is always lots of comedy and topical highlights in the parade.
There will be the usual competition for the best ‘Shop Window’ and other prizes up for grabs include Best Industrial Float, Best Club/Organisation on Float or walking. Novelty floats will be especially welcome.
The Bailieborough parade will commence at 2.30pm from the Community School on the Virginia Road. There will be prizes for the best float, best comedy float, best club float and there will also be prizes for the best dressed window display. There is up to €1,000 in prizes and entry is free.
There will be a wonderful diverse array of floats depicting the town and hinterland at work and play with great hilarity and creativity, all complimented by a number of marching bands.
Seamus Rahill, secretary of the parade committee, said they tried a different method of funding this year. “We have arranged a raffle, as opposed to collecting from the various businesses. We have encouraged the businesses to use their money instead, to put a float in the parade,” he said.
The raffle draw will take place on Easter Monday and there are fabulous prizes like weekends away, West Life tickets, Rod Stewart tickets, plasma screen, so make sure to get your ticket – they are just €2.
There is always a great atmosphere surrounding the Arva St Patrick’s Day Parade, which will set off at 3pm. Noel Lynch, chairman of the Town Development Committee, says this year will be no different. The committee is offering a total of €2,000 in prizes and this will be divided amongst the best participants in the parade.
Arva always attracts very creative community floats and the entire hinterland gets involved, which in fact takes in three provinces and the air will be filled with the sounds of an accordion band from Lisnaskea.
Noel praised the great community spirit in the area and said many people help out as required.
“Our publicans are the main financial backers of our parade,” said Noel. With attractive cash prizes, the result is that those putting floats in the parade are really creative and also take time out to stop and put on a show in front of the reviewing stand.
ON THE MARCH IN BALLYCONNELL
The Ballyconnell parade is scheduled to commence at 3pm and the floats will assemble at Rakeelan. The man himself, St Patrick, will lead the parade followed by the very popular Mountain Road Pipe Band.
The event will feature scores of floats depicting life as it is lived in the area and loads of humour thrown in for good measure.
There will be lots of music and fancy dress and you can join in making your own shamrock at the Market House Square between 2-3pm and wave it at the parade. There are prizes to be won for your efforts.
There will be prizes for the best float, best window display, best dressed boy, best dressed girl and best dressed adult.
NURSERY RHYMES IN COOTEHILL
The annual Cootehill parade will get underway 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 in Cootehill says the president of the Chamber of Commerce, John Joe Lennon. The theme of the parade is ‘Nursery Rhymes’ and the Tullyvin Musical Society are participating with a walking float and they will be performing in transit.
The Bunnoe Brass Band will be providing the vibrant music on the day as the parade winds its way through the town.
Prior to the Parade, the local Comhaltas musicians will be performing on the stage and there will be a dancing exhibition by the Rafter School of dancing. To keep the atmosphere going after the parade, John Joe Lennon says they will be staging a jiving competition and there will be competitions for over 18s and under 18s.
There will be lots of prizes on offer for the best overall float, the best walking float, for the jiving and for the nursery rhymes. For further information contact John Joe Lennon on 087-2251912.
TRADITION IN KILNALECK
The Kilnaleck Parade is one of the longest running parades in the county and this great community event will commence at 3pm. There will be five prizes – each of €100 - and they will awarded to participants for the greatest effort and creativity.
There will be lots of music courtesy of the talented members of the local Brian Galligan Comhaltas. Their members will be participating in the parade and another group will be playing music on the stage. The MC is Craig Lovett.
All local businesses and community organisations are encouraged to take part in the parade.
WARM WELCOME IN BALLYJAMESDUFF
The annual pallyjamesduff Parade will commence at 4pm and the assembly point is at the Co-Op Mart.
There will also be lots of club and commercial floats reflecting different takes on the business and social community in Ballyjamesduff with some humour and wit mixed in. There is a special drive to get businesses involved in putting floats in the parade. There will be lots of prizes on offer, so make sure to make your float creative. There is always a great atmosphere in the town on the day and the committee chairman, Harry Brant, extends a welcome to you all to sample this unique occasion and the hospitality in the town.
STEP OUT IN STYLE IN SWANLINBAR
The Swanlinbar Parade commences at 4pm at Trivia House. All entrants to assemble on the Creamery Road. Parade organiser Cliona Drumm says there parade will be led by St Patrick and a Piper and there will be lots of entertaining floats and it is a great fun day out for all the family.
There will be music after the parade and before the prize giving in the Square and one of those showcasing their talent is Niamh Maguire on the accordion and Swanlinbar Comhaltas members. There will be dancers from Swanlinbar and Kinawley stepping it out in style.
The Cornalunn Cup and the Andy Kelly memorial shield will be presented for the best floats. A new cup has also been donated by Corrigan Construction and it is called the Claddagh Cup. It’s a case of enjoying the ceol and the craic in Swanlinbar.
BUSKING IN BALLINAGH
The Parade will commence from the Community Centre car park at 4.30pm and a wonderful evening is promised for all the family and you are all very welcome.
The floats will be creative and reflect the fine community spirit that prevails in the area and laced with lots of humour. Busking will be a feature of this year’s event and there will be numerous prizes on offer.
Ann McPhillips says there will be refreshments and a social in the community hall following the parade. If the weather is inclement, the busking feature will be staged in the hall. The event is always well supported by the local businesses and the community. For more information, contact Tom Moore in Spar or Ann McPhillips 086-8154407.
MAGIC IN MULLAGH
All roads lead to Mullagh this St Patrick’s Day for the annual parade, which commences at its usual time of 5pm. It is always a great family day out in Mullagh and there will be a good selection of floats from local businesses and clubs, laced with lots of hilarity and comedy.
All floats are asked to assemble in the Community Park on the Moynalty Road and all vintage vehicles are asked to form a line from Mullagh Hall back towards the park.
Participants are reminded not to throw sweets into the crowd, as this is a very dangerous practice.
Prizes will be awarded for Best Overall Float, Best Local Float and Best Novelty Float.
Stewards are asked to report to the viewing stand at 4pm for their instructions and hi-vis jackets and more stewards are required.
If you would like any further information regarding the parade, contact a member of the Mullagh Development Committee on 087-7466606 or email email@example.com
FUN IN OLDCASTLE
The Oldcastle Parade will assemble at Gilsenan Park at 12.15pm and it promises to be a fun day for all the family, with the emphasis on the entertainment factor.
There is cash prizes for best overall float, best vintage display, best topical float. There will be lots of music from traditional musicians, face painting by Jessica, Bouncing Castle sponsored by King of the Castles.
Oldcastle Credit Union will be holding the draw for a car on the Square when the parade is over. There is always a wonderful atmosphere in the town on the day and the Publicans provide sponsorship for the parade.