St Patrick’s Festival returns after two year Covid absence

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Jackson High School Marching Band taking part in the 2018 Limerick International Band Championship

THE fun and craic associated with the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival makes a welcome return to the city streets following a two year Covid-enforced absence.

This year’s festival will include the traditional St Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday, March 17 and the Limerick International Band Championship on Sunday, March 20.

Outline planning for the festival has been taking place since before Christmas, but has only been ramped up after the relaxation of Covid restrictions last Friday.

This year’s theme is ‘Belonging and Identity’, ideas which has occupied the minds of many Limerick people throughout the two years of enforced restrictions.

Belonging can be as part of Limerick, a community, group or sports club. How does belonging shape our identity, how we see ourselves are some of the questions posed.

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This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Irish Free State and the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the European Union.

The 50th edition of the International Band Champion will see the streets of the city filled with the spectacular sight and sound of talented marching band musicians from across Ireland, Europe and America for Ireland’s only International Band Championship.

Mayor Daniel Butler said that after a long two years’ wait, the organisers were determined to ensure this year’s festival is the brightest and most creative one to date.

“We all deserve to enjoy ourselves after all the sacrifices we have made, so with the extra bank holiday, let’s make Limerick party-central this St Patrick’s Day.”

“I know time is short to get involved, but let’s show our creativity and our innovation as we embrace the theme of Belonging and Identity and show what we are really like.”

Arts Officer Pippa Little said the festival will bring colour, music and street theatre to Limerick.

“It offers us all an opportunity to participate, to enjoy the creativity that Limerick has to offer, a moment of celebration and a means of forging our collective Belonging and Identity.”

The 38-metre panoramic wheel is due to return to Limerick for the festival, with other events taking place around Limerick as we celebrate our national day.Other events on the fringe of the parade and band championship will be announced in the coming weeks.

Grooveyard is producing this year’s festival on behalf of Limerick City and County Council with Aidan Phelan as creative producer.

For information on taking part, email [email protected] or phone 061 556308.