A VILLAGE has joined the global 'greening' craze for St Patrick's Day and has lit up its 400-year-old castle with green lighting to mark its last parade -- which is also the shortest parade in Ireland.
Parade organiser Michelle King said: "As this is the last St Patrick's Day parade in Ballinafad we wanted to do something special to mark it so we lit the castle green."
The 200-metre-long parade, from one end of the Co Sligo village to the other, will have 50 floats.
Dripsey in Co Cork used to lay claim to the shortest parade.
But Ms King said: "That was only somebody dressed as St Patrick traipsing along with a few villagers between pubs."
Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland yesterday confirmed that only two of the nine worldwide sites announced to date were charging it for 'greening' bills.
Figures provided by Tourism Ireland on a Freedom of Information request show the London Eye is charging €5,000 and a group of skyscrapers in Stockholm, known as Hotorgsskraporna, is charging €3,900.
But Niagara Falls, Table Mountain at Cape Town, the Empire State Building in New York, the Bury Al Arab in Dubai, the TV Tower in Berlin, the Lighthouse in Dusseldorf and the Sky Tower in Auckland are being 'greened' at no charge.
The global 'greening' initiative last year helped "to generate positive publicity worth in excess of €5m in equivalent advertising value", Tourism Ireland said.