Wednesday 22 November 2017

On 'yer bike as St. Patrick's Day parade to celebrate Giro d'Italia

Members of Cuchulainn Cycling Club taking part in last year’s parade.
Members of Cuchulainn Cycling Club taking part in last year’s parade.

Margaret Roddy

The bicycle rules in Dundalk this St Patrick's weekend as the town's annual parade celebrates the coming of the Giro d'Italia cycle race in May.

A weekend of events, many of them cycle related, are being held in the town centre with locals and visitors invited to join the fun and celebrate our national holiday.

A vintage bike display will be on show at Market Square on Saturday from 12 noon, while members of Cuchulainn Cycling Club will be on hand to give bike workshops and there will also be a BMX bike team display.

Local sporting clubs including Mas-F martial arts, Dundalk Young Irelanders GFC, The Liby Dynamites basketball team and Dundalk Rugby Minis will also demonstrate their skills.

A market with food and craft produce will be held at the Market Square on Sunday afternoon while there's over €1,000 in prizes up for grabs in the family-friendly mystery treasure hunt which starts at the square at 2.30 p.m.

Dundalk Tidy Towns are hosting an open door tour of St. Patrick's Cathedral, conducted by Fr Gerry Campbell. This event gets under way at 3 p.m. on Sunday and is open to all, no booking required.

Later that evening, the best of local and national musicians will take to the stage in An Tain Theatre for the annual St. Patrick's Eve concert organised by Francie Duffy and friends. This year's line up includes traditional singer Rosie Stewart, tenor David Martin, singer/songwriter SJ McArdle, CCE Dun Dealgan, Irish dancers from Scoil Rince Mona Ni Rodaigh, with compere Paudie Breen.

The highlight of the weekend is, of course, the parade which gets underway from Patrick Street at 1 p.m.

This year's parade will be led by joint Grand Marshals, cycling legends Darach McQuaid and Jack Murphy, with an estimated 20,000 spectators expected to line the streets of Dundalk.

A change to this year's event will see the viewing stand moved from its traditional location at the Ulster Bank in Clanbrassil Street to outside the former Dunnes Stores in Park Street.

There will be lots of activity in the town centre following the parade, with music and presentation of prizes at 2 p.m., market stalls and kiddies rides, and lots of great giveaways.

Dundalk Youth Centre has organised a gig showcasing young bands and a BBQ in the garden from 2 p.m.

The Long Walk and Marshes Shopping Centres will be welcoming visitors with traditional entertainment, while several local bars are hosting traditional music sessions.

One of the final events of the bumper bank holiday weekend will be Blackrock's second St. Patrick's Day Parade which will start from the Cocklehill side of the village at 4 p.m.

The Argus

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