LIMERICK’S ‘Market Quarter’ will be transformed by a riot of colour and sound this Saturday evening as the second ‘Mardi Gras Street Party’ takes place, with families encouraged to come along and witness the massive party.
The event, an initiative of the Market Quarter, a group of nearly 25 businesses located in the area around Ellen Street, Denmark Street, Robert Street and Cornmarket Row, drew thousands of revellers out onto the streets last year with the first successful staging of the full-on carnival parade transforming Limerick and featuring scenes more reminiscent of the famous Rio de Janeiro procession.
The award-winning LUXe street performers will take part in the parade, while live music, DJs and an outdoor stage will make the Market Quarter the place to be this Saturday evening.
The Market Quarter group was established in October 2009 by a group of businesses in the area “to build a platform” for the area and “market our part of the city and to increase footfall through unique events and initiatives”, and this is the second staging of the Mardi Gras festival.
Tony Enright, part of the organising committee, said: “We wanted to create an event, people want events, they want value, they want to go to something that is going to be entertaining, attractive, well-controlled and give people a good time in an enjoyable, safe environment”.
“We want people to come down, have a look, it is a great carnival, the weather is going to be good. The night kicks off at 7pm, people should get down early and get a good position on the street, because this is going to be really good. Last year was a big success, but this year is going to be better.”
The carnival parade will start outside Penneys at 9pm, featuring 60 performers in all and a large number of local dancers. The parade will cross to Denmark Street, loop around Robert Street and finish the square around Nancy Blakes and Smyths, where a large stage will be set up, featuring live music from The Guests.
Each of the participating venues - The Office, Smyths/Icon, Flannerys, The Old Quarter, Nancy Blakes, Angel Lane, Mollys, Cobblestone Joes, The Bailey and Flannerys Bar - will all also have live music on site. The area will be a glass-free, pedestrianized zone and there will be two BBQs set-up to provide food. The event will finish by 10.30pm and Tony explained that it is a family-friendly event.
“It will be fantastic. Access will be controlled and it will be all plastic glasses - the emphasis is very much on this being a family event,” he added.