SOME of Limerick’s most iconic landmarks are to ‘go green’ in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day.
Adare Manor, the Hunt Museum and the Clarion Hotel will all light up in green colours to mark Limerick’s Saint Patrick’s Festival 2013.
Saint Patrick will double as the grand marshal for the city procession this year followed by up to 250 mini-versions of the patron saint in Ireland’s largest regional parade, which will feature street theatre group Macnas, it was also announced at the launch in City Hall this Tuesday.
Sarah Stuart Trainor, director of marketing at Adare Manor, said that the hotel took the decision to go green on March 17 as 2013 is “the year of the Gathering and this is a first for us, we are all very excited about it and we will join the major places around the world that do this for Saint Patrick’s Day.”
“The whole building will go green, so I am sure our residents will raise an eyebrow over the weekend, but it is a fun element, it is purely for fun to do something a little bit quirky,” she explained.
“It will happen on the evening of March 17, and everyone is welcome to come along and have a look.”
For Limerick’s parade, which drew 70,000 spectators out onto the streets to see 3,500 participants last year, a 14-foot statue of Saint Patrick will be followed in the procession by a ‘Parade of Patricks’, as city kids attempt to break a world record for most people dressed up as the saint in one place.
Playwright Mike Finn, acting as artistic director for this part of the parade, dismissed concerns that the Guinness Book of Records had refused to officiate over the record because Saint Patrick wasn’t “iconic enough”.
“We can verify it ourselves, the Guinness Book of Records is a stamp of approval, but you don’t need that to break a world record,” he explained.
Finn is working with community groups in the city to smash the previous world record of most Saint Patricks in one place, set in Kilrush last year, which stands at 207.
“I am working with five different community groups to create costumes - St Patrick’s GAA club, the Model School, Scoil Carmel, Limerick College of Further Education and St Mary’s Parish - and each of those groups are supplying 50 participants,” explained the Killinaskully writer.
“We are in the process of making them costumes, so all of those are being made by the communities themselves, to a specific design made by the students in Limerick School of Art and Design. I was determined to get as much of it made in Limerick as possible, it makes it more meaningful, if people make their own costumes.”
The parade will take place at noon on March 17, while the 43rd International Band Championship will take place the following day and feature more than 1,000 musicians.
German band Fanfarenzug Ankenreute, along with eight bands from America, have confirmed their intention to take part, and are expected to stay in the city.
For more see www.limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival.