Party on the streets

by Ian Begley

For the first time in over 10 years local residents came out in their droves to celebrate this year’s Clondalkin St Patrick’s Day parade.
The parade, which took place in Corkagh Park, attracted over 3,000 local residents who came out for the festivities.
According to Cllr Francis Timmons (Ind), the parade “really brought to life the local talent and community spirit” that Clondalkin excels at.
“Our walking parade saw many local schools, voluntary, and musical assemblies taking part in an event that hasn’t happened in over 10 years.
“It’s brilliant news for the area and I’m very happy with how the day turned out. It was a great way to showcase Clondalkin and hopefully next year’s parade will be even bigger and as much of a success,” he said.
Meanwhile, a sea of green, white and orange poured through the streets of Dublin for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade and festivities.
Approximately half a million people lined the capital’s thoroughfares to witness the nation’s largest celebration.
This year’s parade adopted the theme of Celebrate Now in recognition of Ireland’s contemporary arts and culture exploits.
Featuring bands and performers from around the world, this year’s procession was led by Grand Marshal Brendan O’Carroll.
There was a remarkable look of excitement on all faces in anticipation of the parade to begin. Hundreds of tourists coming to Dublin especially for the parade made sure to get a good vantage point and also seemed to be praying for the weather to remain calm.
At noon on the dot, the Lord Mayor’s horse-drawn carriage kicked off the parade, trailing behind St Patrick himself.
Loud cheers then followed as O’Carroll and his wife Jennifer Gibney rode past in a vintage car, waving and shouting classical Mrs Brown lines that plenty know so well.
The day was soon brought to life by leading participants from around the world, displaying some fantastic creations and thrilling performances, inspired by the present, which enthralled and excited the crowds.
Amidst the colourful pageantry, bands from the USA, Mexico, Germany and Ireland delivered uplifting scores and inspiring rhythms. This spectacular procession then proceeded its way through the heart of Dublin city, bursting with colour and theatrics.
Throughout the duration of the parade the Gazette buttonholed foreign visitors and asked how their day was going and what they thought of the city on this national day of celebration.
Prasanth Sukumar from India attended the parade with his wife and two young children.
He told Gazette that this year’s festival was by far the most colourful.
“The floats and performances are really fantastic and there seems to be a lot of life from everyone taking part in this year’s parade.
“Out of all the St Patrick’s Day parades I’ve seen this one is definitely the most colourful.”
A high school class from Florida who came to Dublin especially for the parade and its festivities said they were overwhelmed with the friendliness and hospitality they received during their stay.
Local celebrations took place in various towns and villages across Dublin, including Lucan, Dun Laoghaire Blanchardstown, and Swords.

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