MORE than 50,000 people lined the streets of Limerick city for this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
The parade - the biggest outside Dublin - saw more than 100 different groups and organisations march from Sarsfield Barracks through the city centre to Island Road.
A giant Saint Patrick led more than 4,000 participants, including 285 locals who made their own costumes and dressed as Ireland’s patron saint.
Despite some light drizzle, there was no dampening the spirits of the tens of thousands who turned out to support the parade, the theme of which was Saints and Scholars.
In addition to the various sporting and community groups, a number of local bands took part in the parade and there was a performance of ‘The Cockroach and the Inventor’ by members of Macnas who featured in the parade for the first time.
Limerick’s ethnic communities were also well represented with performances from the Filipino, Indian, Eastern European and African communities.
The Filipino community won the prize for most entertaining group; Fleadh Ceoil na Mumhan for the bext float; Limerick city Rhythim band for best musical performance and Macnas for most eco-friendly group.
“The Limerick St Patrick’s Festival truly pulled out all the stops this year with an impressive line up of performers for the St Patrick’s Day Parade,” said the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin,” who added it was great to see thousands of spectators on the streets of the city centre.
Cllr Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, said he thoroughly enjoyed the parade.
“It was a fantastic occasion, the sun shone which was marvellous, everything about the parade and the effort put in by the participants was great and you have to commend the crowds who turned out in such massive numbers,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people attended St Patrick’s Day parades across County Limerick today.
Parades took place in Castleconnell, Bruff, Kilmallock, Ballylanders, Asteakon, Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale.
The county’s biggest St Patrick’s Day parade takes place in Newcastle West at 3.30 on Bank Holiday Monday.
Tomorrow will also see Limerick city host the International Band Parade - begining at 12midday.