15 US television slots, 2 parades, thousands of participants and the Whole of the Moon

  • Limerick St Patricks Festival Launch Pic Sean Curtin
Dr Norah Patten, Grand Marshal and Luka Sean Og Rosenthal Morrissey, Lumen and Limerick Street Theatre at Saint Mary's Cathedral. (Pic: Sean Curtin, True Media)

The sights and sounds of the Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival will be broadcast coast to coast in the United States as an American TV crew visits Limerick this weekend.

A number of Limerick based entertainers, producers and characters will join Travel Zoo presenter Gabe Saglie to showcase the best of what Limerick has to offer at King John’s Castle, this weekend, via live interviews with 15 US TV channels.

Limerick will be the place to be this St. Patrick’s Weekend as the largest ever Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival begins on Saturday 16 March with a massive fireworks display from 9.30pm.

The best viewing points are Clancy’s Strand and Sarsfield Bridge as the Limerick skies will be lit up in an explosion of colour.

Limerick St. Patrick's Festival Fireworks. Pic. Brian Arthur
Limerick St. Patrick's Festival Fireworks. (Pic. Brian Arthur)

Limerick is unique in Ireland in having not one but two parades – the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade on St. Patrick’s Day (Sunday 17 March) and the 49th Limerick International Band Championship the following day (Bank Holiday Monday 18 March).

The theme of this year’s parade is One Giant Leap, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moon landing and reflecting Limerick’s dynamic revitalisation in recent years.

To mark this year’s theme, we are delighted that Dr Norah Patten, who is in the running to be Ireland’s first astronaut, is our Grand Marshal. Dr Patten is a trailblazer for Irish scientists and is a fantastic role model, especially for young girls.

Limerick’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be a riot of colour and entertainment as around 1,000 participants from street performers and community groups will join our military and emergency services in marching down O’Connell Street, celebrating our national day.

Among those who will be taking the theme of One Giant Leap and transforming it into some creative street theatre are: Lumen Street Theatre; Space Odyssey; Artastic and Spraoi.

The Clondalkin Youth Band taking part in the 45th Limerick International Band Championship. Pic Sean Curtin
The Clondalkin Youth Band taking part in the Limerick International Band Championship. (Pic Sean Curtin)

Limerick is in a unique position of having the country's only International Band Championship, now in its 49th year.

Around 1,300 musicians from 20 bands will be taking place in the marching band championship, eight of which are travelling from America. Others are coming from Estonia, Germany, Britain as well as local and other Irish bands. The sight of all these marching bands along O’Connell Street is something to behold on Bank Holiday Monday 18 March from 12 noon.

Among the bands taking part are: Wauwatosa East Red Raider Band from Wisconsin; University of Nebraska at Kearney Marching Band; Arvada West High School Wildcat Marching Band, Colorado; Glen Ridge High School, New Jersey; The Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, New Jersey; University of Northern Iowa Panther Marching Band; Charlotte High School and Slippery Rock.

Museum of the Moon at University of Bristol, UK. Photo credit: Simon Galloway, Picture Editor, SWNS1
Museum of the Moon at University of Bristol, UK. Photo credit: Simon Galloway, Picture Editor, SWNS1

To tie in with the theme of this year’s parade, the Museum of the Moon will land in St. Mary’s Cathedral from 15 - 22 March. Experience a new touring artwork by artist Luke Jerram, bringing together a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound. The moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface.

Limerick City and County Council will provide additional car parking at its council offices in Merchant’s Quay (via Nicholas Street) and at Cleeves Factory for the three day festival.

Parades are also taking part around the county on St. Patrick’s Day:

Location

Time

Starting Point

Abbeyfeale

4pm

Mountmahon Industrial Estate

Askeaton

2pm

Church Car Park

Ballylanders

3pm

Tonedale Bedding grounds

Bruff

2.30pm

Primary School

Castleconnell

12pm

Scanlon Park

Herbertstown

11.30am

Herbertstown Development Association/ School

Kilfinane

2pm

McCarthy’s Yard

Kilmallock

1pm

Kilmallock Church

Newcastle West

3pm

Community Centre, Castle Demesne

Rathkeale

12.30pm

New Line

Among the other events taking place for Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival include:

Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing & Communications with Limerick City and County Council said: “Having the American TV crew here is a fantastic opportunity to get international exposure for Limerick across the United States. It’s all very exciting particularly as we get to launch our new international Limerick brand later this year.”

“The 2019 Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival will be without doubt one of the largest ever held in Limerick with a carnival atmosphere promised for the weekend which begins with a not-to-be missed fireworks display on Saturday evening.”

“This year we have done a huge amount of promotion of our three-day St. Patrick’s Festival. The weather’s looking up and with a huge number of family friendly events on the programme, there’s nowhere else to be this weekend, so why not wrap up warm and soak up the unique atmosphere of Limerick during the festival as there is so much to do and see.”

Panoramic Wheel at Athurs Quay, Limerick. Photo: Sean Curtin

Sheila Deegan, Culture & Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council added: “St. Patrick’s Day parades take place all over the world promoting our heritage and culture to new generations and new audiences. Limerick’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been a key part of the lives of citizens for over 50 years, with memories and traditions forged into the imagination.”

“Over the years how we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day has changed, so much so that this year Limerick has built a three day festival of creative and spectacular fun for families and visitors alike.”

“From the popular panoramic wheel in Arthur’s Quay Park to The Museum of the Moon, an enormous seven-metre, crater-by-crater accurate depiction of our nearest astronomical neighbour on a helium balloon as well as the traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade, with the theme this year of ‘One Giant Leap’ and the only International Band Championship in Ireland, Limerick is the place to be.”

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, ishka, Fáilte Ireland, Live 95 and Siemens.

Download your full guide to Limerick St. Patrick's Festival here and keep up to date with the full festival line-up, including road closures, on www.limerick.ie/stpatricksfestival | Facebook: LimerickStPatricksFestival| Twitter: @LimerickStPats | Instagram: @LimerickStPatricksFestival

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