PHOTOS Estimated 50,000 people line the streets of Limerick for St Patrick’s Day Parade to ‘Discover Limerick’
A street performer at the 2023 Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo: Dean Fitzgerald, Piquant
An estimated 50,000 people lined the streets of Limerick today to enjoy the festivities and embrace all that the 2023 Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade had to offer
Limerick’s main thoroughfares were a cacophony of colour with 1,500 participants from over 40 community groups taking to the city streets.
This year’s parade was led by Grand Marshal, award-winning actor Jon Kenny, who travelled the 1.6km route on the bicycle he regularly cycles along the Limerick Greenway.
Jon Kenny said: “Everyone was lovely, the atmosphere was great, and the enthusiasm of the crowd, it’s just so fantastic to see so many people out, enjoying themselves, taking part. It’s actually really interesting being in the parade because so many times I’ve been watching it from the side so it was lovely to get all that energy from the people directed at you. Really brilliant.”
In celebration of this year’s theme ‘Discover Limerick,’ the parade included a Viking invasion as some of Limerick’s “first residents” arrived in style on board a reconstruction of a 40-foot-long Viking longship as featured in the hit TV series ‘Vikings’
They were flanked by rhythmic warriors The Hit Machine Drummers and Viking gymnasts from Southside Gymnastics Club.
Paradegoers were treated to musical performances from a host of local bands as well as spectacles from visual artists Buí Bolg, Lumen Street Theatre’s 3-metre-high Treaty Stone replica and Limerick Youth Dance Company’s bronzed dancers inspired by the city’s Singer from Quimper sculpture.
The Ukrainian PEACE Group featured 200 people singing, marching and performing as the parade sadly marked the plight the Ukrainian nation, impacted by the war, for a second year. The Ukrainian flag flew side by side with the Irish flag as they were paraded down the route.
A special autism-friendly area, which included a sensory room, covered marquee and seating area, meant that those with sensory issues could enjoy the parade.
Cathaoirleach of the Limerick Metropolitan District Cllr Olivia O’Sullivan said: “I’m so glad we got the weather. It was touch and go with the rain but I think people were going to come out regardless because we had a couple of years when we didn’t have this and I think it’s made us appreciate it all the more when we can get out into the streets. The colour and the celebratory atmosphere, it’s just wonderful to see it. It’s a positive, uplifting day in the city. It takes a lot of work to make this happen, a lot of work that is unseen but to everybody that’s putting their shoulder to the wheel today thank you so much because you are delivering for Limerick.”
Winners in the parade were:
· Best Overall Performance – Scoil Uí Nualláin
· Best Represents ‘Discover Limerick’ Theme – Southside Gymnastics Club
· Best Community Award – Limerick Dragons
· Best Creative Entry – Limerick Youth Dance Company Woman from Quimper Statue Dance
· Best Youth Group – Limerick Youth Service
· Best Musical Performance – St. Mary’s Fife and Drum Band
· Judges Special Mention – Ukrainian PEACE Group
View all of St Patrick’s Festival events here.
Find out more here.