‘Business as usual’ for Limerick St Patrick’s Day parade amid Covid-19 fears

‘Business as usual’ for Limerick St Patrick’s Day parade amid Covid-19 fears

Jack Laffan and Brendan Reynolds, Cappamore, enjoying last year's parade

FOR the tens of thousands of people worried about Limerick’s St Patrick’s Day festivities due to Covid-19, it is “business as usual” according to a spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council.

“Our event management team are monitoring the situation closely. In line with the requirements of our event licence, we will be contacting all relevant organisations in the event that national guidelines are issued or the situation changes,” the spokesperson told the Leader.

Not only will the festivities be going ahead, but this year’s parade will be broadcast live to millions of people on American television for the first time ever. 

Courtesy of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland, this forms part of a major tourism initiative to attract more international visitors to Limerick and Ireland this year.

ABC Network and global internet media company Travelzoo will be covering all the fun, the colour and the spectacle of Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival as the two-kilometre parade route will be filled by participants from all parts of Limerick and across the country, including schools, sports clubs, industry and the new communities that now call Limerick home.

The theme of this year’s parade is Our Future is Green and all participants will showcase their green credentials as part of this year’s Limerick St Patrick’s Festival.

To celebrate this year’s theme and to mark Limerick as European Green Leaf City 2020, climate activist Saoirse Exton and Tidy Towns and Team Limerick Clean-Up champion Helen O’Donnell have both been named as grand marshals for this year’s parade.

The expected tens of thousands of spectators will be thrilled by colourful and high energy entries as they make their way down O’Connell Street from Roden Street all the way down to Rutland Street on March 17 from midday.

The parade promises to be a carnival of colour and celebration with music, dance and spectacle from local groups and renowned street theatre companies like Limerick’s Lumen.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland said: “Tourism Ireland was delighted to invite ABC TV and Travelzoo to Limerick, to experience and film this year’s St Patrick’s Festival. It is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the festival and the city to a huge audience across the US – inspiring them to put Limerick and Ireland on their holiday ‘wish-list’ for 2020.”

Teenage climate activist Saoirse Exton said: “I'm really excited about being one of this year's two grand marshals because I'm starting to see change when it comes to Limerick and our attitude towards our environment. I think we should celebrate the changes we have made, and prepare for the changes that we will need to make in the future to achieve positive and engaging climate justice for all.”

Helen O’Donnell said: “I’m delighted to be grand marshal for the 2020 Limerick St Patrick’s Day parade as making Limerick a clean, green place to live and enjoy is something that I feel very passionately about. There’s a wonderful community spirit evident in the Team Limerick Clean Up movement, particularly across all the volunteers who take part on a weekly basis to keep Limerick clean and I’ll be proud to be representing them on the day.”

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheahan said: “Limerick always comes alive during the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival and this year is no different. By embracing the green theme, participants will be able to celebrate our national day and be conscious of a very important issue at the same time.

“We’re also delighted that global eyeballs will be on Limerick thanks to Tourism Ireland bringing international TV crews to Limerick so it’s set to be a great festival weekend,” he added. 

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