An estimated 50,000 people lined the streets of Limerick today to welcome back the first in-person Limerick St Patrick’s Day Parade in three years.
Glorious sunshine bathed the 1.6km route through the city centre as 52 groups took part in the parade.
Led by the All-Ireland hurling champions as Grand Marshal, Limerick Manager John Kiely, and hurlers Peter Casey and Barry Murphy showcased the Liam MacCarthy cup supported by more than 150 GAA supporters from clubs around Limerick.
Visual artists Buí Bolg, Spotlight Stage School, Artastic, and the Hit Machine Drummers joined bands, community and sporting groups in a carnival of colour, music and spectacle celebrating this year’s theme of Belonging and Identity.
The plight of millions of Ukrainians impacted by the war was marked as the Ukrainian flag flew side by side with the Irish flag as they were brought down the route. Crowds showed their heartfelt support as they gave a rousing round of applause as the flag was carried through the city centre.
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 Catherine Slattery said: “It is so wonderful to see the parade back on the streets of Limerick after two years absence. The atmosphere around the route was electric and the enthusiasm of the participants was infectious.”
“The young, the not-so-young from communities and groups right across Limerick entertained the crowds of people, each one belonging in Limerick.”
“Huge credit goes to the organisers who had such a short lead-in time to organise the parade.”
Winners in the parade were:
- Best Overall Performance – Scoil Uí Nuaillain, Irish Dance School
- Best Creative Performance – Red Hot Mommas
- Best Youth Group – Shannon RFC
- Best Musical Performance – Redemptorists Centre of Music
Limerick St Patrick’s Festival continues until Sunday with a host of family-friendly events taking place including:
50th Limerick International Band Championship – Limerick city centre – 20 March @ 12pm
The 50th edition of the International Band Championship will see the streets of Limerick 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 at 12pm on Sunday 20 March. Cheer on the bands as they march through the city competing to be crowned International Band Champions!
St. Patrick’s Festival Fire and Aerial Extravaganza – Potato Market, Merchant’s Quay – 19 March – SOLD OUT
Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre join Ireland’s premier fire performance company ROGU to light up stage and sky with a spectacular fusion of flights and fire! Numbers are limited and pre-booking essential.
Panoramic Wheel - Arthur’s Quay Park - 04 March - 21 April
Soar above the city and take in the stunning 360 degree views across Limerick’s skyline on the spectacular 38 metre panoramic wheel. Sky-high fun for all the family.
Beat on the Street - Hunt Museum Garden - 18 March
Drum Dance Ireland welcomes you to the world of drumming where the star of the show is you! Children aged 5 to 13 are invited to play bass drums, congas, shakers and bells resulting in a fully interactive fun-filled percussion performance! Pre-booking essential.
St. Patrick’s Festival Scavenger Hunt – People’s Park, Pery Square - 18 – 20 March
Join Lumen Street Theatre on a magical journey of discovery on a self-guided scavenger hunt throughout the People’s Park. This project is funded through the Local Live Performance Scheme, Dept. Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media.
St. Patrick’s Festival Street Show Saturday – Bedford Row – 19 March
Join us on the streets of Limerick for a day of performance, science and spectacle with antics from Strong Women Science, Monsieur Gusto, Galway Community Circus and Master Magicians Steve Spade and Jack Wise!
St Patrick’s Weekend at Limerick Milk Market – 17-20 March
Enjoy the delicious buzz of Limerick’s celebrated market across four fun-filled days of food and family friendly festivities.
All events being organised on behalf of Limerick City and County Council during the festival will be subject to the prevailing COVID-19 public health guidelines at the time of the event. For the latest health guidance, please see gov.ie.
Grooveyard is producing this year’s Limerick St Patrick’s Festival on behalf of Limerick City and County Council along with partners Analog Devices, Mr Binman, Maldron Hotel and Fáilte Ireland.
Media Sponsors are Limerick Leader, Live 95, Limerick Post, Spin South West and I Love Limerick.
A special Digital Guide has been created outlining all the events taking place in the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival. It is available on Limerick.ie.