independent

Friday 20 July 2018

We're ready to celebrate

Last year's parade in the town
Last year's parade in the town

Enniscorthy: Despite taking place that bit earlier this year, to accommodate those wishing to catch Ireland's all important clash with England in the Six Nations, this year's St Patrick's Day Parade is promising to be as big as ever.

The parade will set off at the earlier time of 1 p.m. this year, moved from the usual time of 3 p.m. Floats and vehicles taking part are asked to assemble at the Promenade at midday and marchers are asked to convene at St Senan's Church at the same time. The marching parade will set off from the Shannon at 1 p.m. and will follow the usual route. It will be led by members of the Army Reserve Colour Party and the Northfield Caledonia Pipe & Drum band from Birmingham will be in attendance.

Among the groups already confirmed to take part are the United Nations Veterans' Association; Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen; Athletic, GAA, Rugby, Hockey, Soccer and Boxing Clubs; Ferns Diocesan Youth Service; Scouts, Guides and Brownies; Dancing Schools, Gymnasts and various Floats, vehicles and impressive vintage machines. Floats and Vehicles will join the Parade at Séamus Rafter Bridge after all the marchers pass by and turn left at the Post Office and proceed along the usual route. It is the intention to divert the larger vehicles such as HGVs at Doyle's Corner on to Nunnery Road in order to relieve traffic congestion in the Market Square where various entertainment will take place from 12.30 p.m.

Once again, due to health and safety regulations, insurance implications and advice from An Garda Síochána, horses and other animals will not be allowed to take part in the parade. The committee wish to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and support and are looking forward to what promises to be another great St Patrick's Day in Enniscorthy.

Bunclody

This year's St Patrick's Day celebrations in Bunclody take on extra significance as it's the 30th anniversary of the parade. As a result, this year's parade will take on a 'happy birthday' theme and promises to be as fun and colourful as ever.

While a big loss to the parade this year is the Ballindaggin Pipe Band, who will be flying the flag for Wexford in London, organisers are hopeful that other local musical acts will step into the breach and provide a soundtrack to the day.

This year's parade is expected to contain over 60 different items, including 20 different walking groups, floats, vintage cars and machinery and community groups. Walking groups are asked to gather at The Mill Race Hotel from 10 a.m. while floats are asked to assemble at Glanbia at 9.30 a.m. The parade will set of at 10.45 a.m. sharp and the blessing of the shamrock will take place at the viewing stand at 11 a.m. Afterwards, it is hoped that people will stick around and enjoy the atmosphere as the kids (big and small!) queue for their green ice cream cones, as is the tradition in Bunclody. It promises to be a great occasion and people are invited to come along and mark 30 years in style! Anyone interested in getting involved, playing music or giving a hand stewarding is asked to contact Barbara Anne Murphy on 087 6736966 or Michael Kehoe on 086 8365265.

Wexford

Wexford'S 2018 St Patrick's Day parade will step out in style on Saturday with a host of floats and bands playing everthing from samba- to marching music.

Bands will include the Invermore Marching Band, Arklow, Alcateia Samba Band, Birmingham Pipe Band, St Patrick's Fife & Drum Band, New Ross District Pipe Band, the Reserve Defence Force Pipe Band and Wexford Community Samba Band.

The military will be represented by members of E Company 3rd Battalion Reserve Defence Forces and even some Star Wars storm troopers will be on hand.

The Wexford Parade is the oldest parade in the country the first parade took place in 1904

The parade is set to start at 10.45 a.m. and is due to finish by 12.30 p.m. before the train arrives on the Quay at 12.50 p.m.

The traditional civic mass will be at 9 a.m. in Bride Street Church, attended by the Mayor of Wexford Cllr Jim Moore along with local TDs, Wexford District Council officials and councillors and members of Wexford County Council. The traditional blessing of the Shamrock will also take place at this mass.

The parade itself will assemble in the the Maudlintown area, from the Trinity Street area at 9.30 a.m.

There will be a number of road closures in place from 9.15 a.m from Brendan's Road into Maudlintown, from the Maudlintown traffic lights down into William Street, Trinity Street to the junction of Parnell Street-Trinity Street. No traffic will be allowed into this area until after the parade has started.

As the parade starts, the gardai will be closing other streets along the route of the parade so the public are warned to expect delays and arrive on time.

Parade Secretary John Fowler said the committee wanted to thank the people from Brendan's Road/Maudlintown, Batt Street down to Fishers Row/Trinity Street for their co-operation over the years in leaving the area free of vehicles as they have done so for many years on the morning of the parade.

'We would ask once again for cooperation on the morning and for the duration of the parade. Also we are asking for the same co-operation from the Talbot Hotel up Trinity Street to Fishers Row,' said Mr Fowler.

'Please do not park on the right or left hand side of the road. The parade will move off from Trinity Street at 10.45 a.m. along William Street, Trinity Street, Paul Quay, Crescent Quay, Commercial Quay (with the reviewing stand located just on the right hand side of the Quay adjacent to the bridge) and into Redmond Place and Redmond Square.

'We would appeal to people to use the car parks around the town or to park well away from the route of the parade.

'As the reviewing stand is on the quay front again this year it is essential that there is no parking from the bridge up along the quays. The same will apply to those collecting children taking part in the parade; please do so well away from the Redmond Square area,' said Mr Fowler.

The car park at the tourist office will be open, along with the old cinema car park along with the Stonebridge car park.

As soon as the parade has started, pedestrians will not be allowed to walk back towards the parade from Redmond Square along the quays, as this will cause congestion with both groups and floats taking part in the parade. Traffic will not be allowed into Trinity Street from the junction with Parnell Street up to the traffic light at Maudlintown from 9.15 a.m. until the parade has passed that area.

Mr Fowler said that given the size of the parade, it's important that there be no large gaps in the procession. He said safety is paramount and 'anything that turns up for the parade that in the eyes of our safety officers is a danger to anyone will not be allowed take part'.

'St Patrick's Day is a fun and family-oriented day and we want everyone to enjoy it,' said Mr Fowler.

'It's a day when all the groups and clubs come together and display to the people of Wexford what is on offer to their children as regards to recreation facilities throughout Wexford because at times I have heard people say there is nothing for the youth of Wexford,

'I say to these people come out and watch the hundreds of different groups and organisations who parade each year on St Patrick's Day and then tell me there is nothing for our youth in Wexford.'

Mr Fowler said he wanted to thank principal sponsors, Wexford District Council, Wexford County Council, Wexford Credit Union, along with the business community for their continuous support. McDonald's, Dunnes Stores, Eddie Macken, and Shoe Style, Matt Bogan and Michael Hayes.

Gorey

This year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Gorey starts as normal at 3 p.m.

The parade entries will gather beforehand at 2 p.m., at the new staging area on the link road which connects the Carnew Road, Hollyfort Road and Fort Road.

There will be no road closures on the day, but diversions will be in place while the parade is moving down past The Monument, McCurtain Street, Main Street, and dispersing after the review stand on Esmonde Street. The parade will be led by grand marshal Gorey Little Theatre Group.

The winners of the prizes will be decided by those on the review stand, and will be given out from the review stand immediately after the parade. Local councillor Malcolm Byrne will be MC.

Categories include best float, best business, best sporting group, best community, best Irish group, and best window display from a local business.

There will be a strong musical presence during this year's parade. Other entrants include Rugby Club, Hockey Club, Naomh Eanna GAA Club, Camphill Duffcarrig, Cheshire Homes, Ballygarrett GAA Club, Scout Groups, Lavender Farm, K & K Windows, and much more.

The committee are in desperate need of stewards to help at the parade. Contact Sean Halford on 087 6407166 if you can spare a couple of hours.

Duncannon

Every year the coastal village of Duncannon delivers spade loads of fun at its St Patrick's Day Parade, which is Ireland's most unique St Patrick's Day celebration, bringing visitors and locals alike onto the stunning crescent shaped beach.

This year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Duncannon begins at the earlier time of 12 p.m. giving everyone plenty of time to get to the pub or to the comfort of their couch for the Ireland England rugby match.

As usual the parade starts at the Star of the Sea church, while numerous fun activities for all the family kick off on the beach. Seamus Long and the Deputies will provide musical entertainment on the day and there will be plenty to keep people entertained, including a hurling match on the beach and children's entertainment.

Local youth Cormac Murphy, who uses a wheelchair, has been given the honour of being grand marshal.

Clonroche

Proving a hit every St Patrick's Day, the Clonroche parade will once again pass through the village once again in an explosion of green, white and gold to mark our national day. Once again this is a milestone for the parade and organisers are promising one of the biggest in the event's 10-year history.

The Clonroche parade has become infamous for a bit of humour and there are sure to be some hilarious and topical floats which will have you in stitches. The parade is being planned by the Clonroche Development Association and they are hoping that they will receive great support from local businesses, sporting organisations and community groups. They are hopeful that there will be even more floats than usual in this year's parade, some of which a lot of work has gone into. One in particular will have a full thatched cottage on the back promoting the house of stories.

The parade will get under way at 1 p.m. and come right down through the village as normal. Floats and marching groups are asked to assemble at the usual point at Ballymackessy well in advance of the kick off time. For more information, please contact the Clonroche Development Association or visit the association's Facebook page.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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