The feast of St Patrick will be celebrated in style throughout the county, with parades taking place in Abbeyfeale, Askeaton, Ballylanders, Bruff, Castleconnell, Herbertstown, Kilmallock and Rathkeale, as well as the city parade.
The festivities will kick off on Sunday with the Kilmallock parade – brought forward to accommodate people travelling to support the Balbec in the All Ireland club hurling final on Tuesday. It gets under way at 1pm and it’s fair to say that spectators can expect to see plenty of green and white on display.
Also on Sunday Limerick city will play host to the International Band Championship. This year, 24 marching bands from all over the world will be competing for the top prize in what is sure to be a spectacle of great music and colour. The parade starts from Pery Square at midday.
On St Patrick’s Day itself, the city will play host to a ‘carnival of colour’ led by aerial dance and contemporary circus specialists Fidget Feet and featuring thousands of participants from all corners of Limerick and further afield.
Over 70,000 spectators are expected to converge on the city for the parade, which gets underway from Punch’s Cross at 12pm before proceeding down O’Connell Avenue to end in at the bottom of O’Connell Street.
In the county, there is disappointment that there will be no parade in Newcastle West this year. However, other towns and villages will be decked out in green for the day.
In previous years, Rathkeale has always staged a very spectacular parade and this year should be no exception. The theme is ‘Parade of Colour’ and local groups are preparing to pull out all the stops to put on another great show.
Askeaton’s parade will have a somewhat surreal feel, with the entry from the Askeaton Contemporary Arts group taking inspiration from a meteorite landing in the area 200 years ago and extracts from Aldoux Huxley’s book The Doors or Perception about the author’s experience of hallucinogenic drugs. Other local groups will also be adding their own unique flavour to the event.
The Abbeyfeale parade has attracted a wide range of entries and will be led off by the Rathkeale Brass Band from 4pm.
In Bruff, the theme is Our Sporting Community and there will be a duck race held after the parade between the two bridges.
The parade in Ballylanders will be led by the Galbally National School Band and there will be open air music on stage with Donie O’Sullivan before and after.
In London, the local Limerick Association are also appealing for all Limerick people living there to take part in the parade which will commence from Piccadilly at noon and finish in Whitehall.