Carrig-on-Bannow: The countdown to the St Patrick's Day parade in Carrig-on-Bannow has begun and the organising committee is busy finalising the details of the popular event.
This is the ninth year of the parade and the interest each year has grown, both in terms of participants and spectators. Last year, more than 30 groups and several individuals competed for the various awards and the committee believes the well-founded rumours that the recent snow days have proved to be a blessing in disguise for those preparing their offerings for this year.
The parade is very dependent on community involvement and thrives because of the local groups, businesses and even groups of friends and families who participate.
The parade starts at 2 p.m. and goes from the school field, through the village to the Corach Rovers pitch before looping back along the same route to its starting point. In addition to this, a number of other guests will help to entertain the crowd and ensure that the atmosphere is electric.
There is no charge to enter the parade but the committee appreciates the support given by the local community and businesses in terms of sponsorship and support for their raffle. This money, they say, allows them to keep the parade going every year, aiming to provide a family friendly event, suitable for all in the local area, with all welcome to take part.
Car parks are available at either end of the village on the day, and spectators are reminded that the road through the village will be closed from 1.30 p.m. until after the parade has completely finished. The committee is encouraging people to come early and heed the directions of the stewards on the day.
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 orientated 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.
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.
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.
There is always a great atmosphere in the seaside village on the day, which, for many, is their first visit to a beach in the calendar year.
Local youth Cormac Murphy, who uses a wheelchair, has been given the honour of being grand marshal in this year's parade which will also feature GAA clubs, local schools and scouts.