Pictured: Fourteen-year-old Limerick Person of the Year and cyberbullying campaigner Luke Culhane at the St Patricks Day 2017 parade in Limerick. Photo: Sean Curtin/True Media.
Limerick celebrates St Patricks Day 2017 with a feast of fun and entertainment
Limerick celebrated in style and colour as around 4,000 participants marched down the city’s main street (O’Connell Street) for the St Patricks Day 2017 parade.
The inclement weather failed to dampen the spirits of the estimated 50,000 people who cheered and encouraged the almost 100 different community and theatre groups, companies, sports clubs and bands who entertained the spectators along the route.
Fourteen-year-old Limerick Person of the Year and cyberbullying campaigner Luke Culhane led out the parade, which this year had as its theme ‘Our Stories – this is where we belong’.
A special reception was given to members of the Search and Rescue teams in the parade, following the recent tragedy off the coast of Mayo with the loss of Rescue 116.
Limerick Marine Search and Rescue volunteers wore black armbands as they marched in the parade to huge applauds of appreciation.
A fleet of Viking longboats with a run of colourful salmon in their wake brought the story of the River Shannon spectacularly to life. Lumen Street Theatre Company with the help of Limerick School Project, the Westend Youth Centre, Southill Family Resource Centre and Limerick Youth Theatre, based their entry on the Goddess Sionna and ‘the well of wisdom’.
All the colours of the rainbow were present in the entry by award winning company Luxe. Infused with a middle eastern sound the 47 members of local performers entertained the crowd with giant inflatable floats and gymnastics.
Hong Ying Kung Fu paraded two Chinese dragons along the route which enthralled and terrified some of the younger spectators in equal measure.
Spotlight Stage School joined forced with Artastic and became Lost In Music, which highlighted Limerick’s long history with music.
A special mention went to Johnson and Johnson Vision Care who had one of the biggest entries, with colourful balloon costumes and gifts for the spectators. They really embraced the spirit of the day, with staff along with their families making it a truly family occasion.
The St Patricks Day 2017 parade saw Spotlight Stage School and Artastic win the entry for Best Performance.
Other winners included:
Best Musical Performance – Limerick Rhythm Marching Band
Best Youth Group – The Learning Hub
Martin Folan Award for Best Creative Entry – Team Limerick Clean-Up 3
City Centre Tidy Towns Award – Lumen (for use of recycled materials)
Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Noel Gleeson said: “Today has been an amazing spectacle and a credit to the organisers, including creative director Aidan Phelan and all the participants for their hard work.”
“I also want to pay particular thanks to the people of Limerick city and county who came out and supported the parade in such number despite the awful weather.”
“The parade shows what a multicultural city and county Limerick is with everyone celebrating as one.”
“It is important to say that the parade has highlighted the fantastic community spirit that is thriving in Limerick. The parade has seen a huge youth turnout and has shown a proud culture of volunteerism and civic engagement,” the deputy mayor added.
Limerick St Patrick’s Festival continues over the weekend, with a series of events celebrating our National Holiday. This Sunday [19 March] from 12 noon around 1,000 musicians from 17 marching bands will take part in the 47th Limerick International Band Championship.
Ireland’s only international band competition will see groups from the USA, Germany, England, Northern Ireland, Westmeath, Donegal, Dublin, Tipperary and of course Limerick parade from Pery Square at12 noon, down O’Connell Street, finishing at Arthur’s Quay Park, where a jamboree will be held.
The bands will be competing for the Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy as Overall Parade Champion.
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Photos: Dolf Patijn
For more details on the Limerick St Patricks Day 2017 click here
To read more stories about Limerick St Patrick’s Festival click here