Music has always been an integral part of the Drogheda St Patrick’s Day Parade and 2023 is no different, with a bigger variety and more entrants than ever before.
The Drogheda Brass Band is leading the parade - we alternate between them and the Lourdes Brass Band starting every year and it's their turn this year – but of course both will be appearing,” explains organiser Sandra Gough. “We also have a samba band coming from the UK to take part and the National Ambulance Band is coming to Drogheda rather than Dublin this year, which is a real coup.
No local parade would be complete without Kieran Gallagher and the Absurdist Pipe Band, who will add their own special brand of mayhem and fun.
“We've grown the offering and we intend to grow with every year obviously, or certainly to maintain and grow every year. Of course, one of the highlights will be St. Joseph's Pipe Band coming from the north as they have for the last 16 years.” says Sandra.
“We've always had a band from Northern Ireland for the last 25 years and this will be a very special year celebrating the Good Friday Agreement, so we're maintaining that link cross border link with the bands coming from the north”.
In fact, Sandra says we should all remember the Peace March that was held in Drogheda before the Bridge of Peace opened.
With violence raging in Northern Ireland, 15,000 people gathered at the new construction, including American folk singer Joan Baez, to call for an end to the war in Northern Ireland.
"I believe in 1976, the first Peace March was across that Bridge of Peace before it opened to traffic. And I think it's very important to highlight that in a way.
Sandra says it was wonderful to see families and people of all ages stay around the town after the parade last year, and there will be a host of live music and other events to attract people to stay again this year.