A sense of discovery at Limerick St Patrick’s Day parade

A member of the Cloughjordan Circus Club who took part in the Limerick St Patrick's Day Parade.

AN estimated 50,000 people lined the streets of Limerick today to enjoy the festivities and embrace all that the Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade had to offer.

Limerick’s main streets 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.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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“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 long ship 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.

There were musical performances from a host of local bands as well as spectacles from visual artists Buí Bolg, Lumen Street Theatre’s three 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 marked the plight the of the Ukrainian nation, impacted by the war, for a second year.

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.

Metropolitan District  Cathaoirleach Olivia O’Sullivan said the cancellation of the parade during the Covid pandemic meant that people appreciated it all the more when they could get out into the streets.

“The colour and the celebratory atmosphere was wonderful to see. 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 who put their shoulder to the wheel today thank you so much because you are delivering for Limerick,” she added.

Parade prizewinners were:

·        Scoil Uí Nualláin (Overall Performance);

·       Southside Gymnastics Club ( ‘Discover Limerick’ Theme);

·        Limerick Dragons (Community Award);

·        Limerick Youth Dance Company (Creativity);

·        Limerick Youth Service  (Youth Group);

·        St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band (Musical Performance);

·        Ukrainian PEACE Group (Special Mention).

One of the street performers who brought colour to the Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Marching bands entertained the crowds at the Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Tristan Kessler had a good view of the St Patrick’s Day Parade on the shoulders of his father Zephyr.