Killarney has pulled out all the stops this year to ensure one of the biggest St Patrick’s day spectacles that the town has seen in many years.
Close on 60 entries have already been received for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade and huge crowds are expected to line the streets.
The parade, organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and Kerry County Council, will start at 2pm so spectators are advised to get there early to secure the best vantage points.
Spectacular floats, marching bands, sports clubs – including All-Ireland junior champions Fossa – community groups, companies, local industries, Disney characters, live music, song and dance arts groups and theatrical performances will all form part of the special day with a real party atmosphere throughout the town before, during and after the parade.
Grand marshal Cathal Walshe – a retired member of An Garda Siochána who is a wonderful community volunteer – will lead the parade with Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher.
There will be no shortage of high quality music to keep toes tapping with special guests, the Glen Ridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey, joining the Gleneagle Concert Band, Millstreet Pipe Band and Craicean Drum Band.
The theme for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade is Killarney: Experience More to highlight the new Killarney branding in celebration of what the town has to offer.
The parade will commence on Mission Road at 2pm sharp and the route will take in East Avenue Road, Fair Hill, College Street, Plunkett Street, Main Street, New Street, Beech Road where a collection point for children participating in the parade will be located.
There will be a children’s family fun zone at the lower Beech Road car park from 12 noon to 7pm with fairground rides, magic shows, balloon modelling, face painting, interactive children’s games and a children’s disco and that attraction will also be based at that location from 12 noon to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.
There will be a Paddy’s Party with the Killarney School of Music on the grandstand from 12.45pm to 1.30pm and a Comhaltas Irish dance and trad performance at the Anam Cultural Centre on East Avenue Road from 12 noon on St Patrick’s Day.
The Beech Road car park will remain closed for the duration of the parade but free parking will be available from 1pm to 4.30pm at Penney’s car park and the grounds of St Brendan’s College.
The message from Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher and the Killarney Chamber is for everyone to come along and enjoy the festivities in the town for a fun filled St Patrick's weekend.