A FOURTEEN foot Saint Patrick will tower over Limerick’s parade this year, followed by up to 250 mini-versions of the patron saint.
The statuesque Saint Patrick will double as the grand marshal for Limerick’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade this year and lead the parade of up to 3,500 participants in Ireland’s largest regional parade, which will also feature street theatre group Macnas.
The 14-foot statue 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, 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, people make their own costumes,” he added.
The parade will take place at noon on March 17, and Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, said he expects it to be a “big success”.
“I am informed that 75,000 people are expected to attend, which is probably the biggest occasion the city will ever see and I am sure it will be a delight for everyone and present a very positive image of Limerick,” he said.
The 43rd International Band Championship will take place the following day and feature more than 1,000 musicians taking part.
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, creating a huge boost to the local economy.
For more details see www.limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival.