Boyne Valley mythological giants to lurk among thousands in Ireland’s largest town
A 20 foot long Salmon of Knowledge and many of the Boyne Valley’s mythological heroes reaching over 15 feet high produced by a myriad of students and local artists will be among the highlights of the annual Drogheda St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Kick off is at noon from Palace Street, and people can line the streets for the best view en route through West Street and down Dominic’s Street.
“Of course we’ll also have a giant St. Patrick, recalling how he arrived in Ireland just a stone’s throw from Drogheda, as well as recalling St. Brigid who has given us a new Bank Holiday this year. Drogheda has been celebrating the arrival of Patrick for generations – for example in 1954, the second national festival of An Tostal began here commemorating him. Over a weekend, a cast of over 1,500 along with 500 volunteers moved this pagent on to Slane and Tara,” said Sarah Taaffe, Chairperson of the Drogheda Parades Committee, adding “there’s been huge effort on the part of community organisations and sponsors alike to produce a spectacular parade for the thousands of visitors lining the streets of Ireland’s largest town.”
Joining giant mythological monsters such as the God Dagda; the Goddess Boann; Lugh and Balor will be all kinds of floats along with musicians and entertainers including two local brass bands; a Trad group; a Samba Band travelling from the UK and the National Ambulance Service Band with colleagues in ambulances and special motor cycles as well as their Irish Wolfhound mascot. The Co.Down based St. Joseph’s Pipe Band are also regular visitors and the local Absurdist Pipe Band will again add colour and humour to the parade.
“Inclusivity is the key focus of our parade,” said Sarah who mentioned among others the participation of Ukrainian refugees; Drogheda Pride; children from the Abacus Special School and students from Turkey resident locally. Given Drogheda’s links with Turkey during the famine, the Turkish Ambassador will lead guests from a number of nations including those from Drogheda’s twin, Saint Mande in France. The parade will again feature a special Sensory Street - an area of calm for those who may have sensory issues - at Dominic Street.
“The parade commences on Drogheda’s Palace Street at 12 noon and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands to what promises to be one of Ireland’s most spectacular St. Patrick’s Day parades depicting our multi-cultural community and mythological heritage. Afterwards, visitors and their families can wander through Drogheda’s historic centre and view large murals of the mythological legends of the Boyne Valley which adorn several locations here and have attracted visitors from across the world,” concluded Sarah.