Youngsville High School, USA have been crowned the overall winners of the 48th Limerick International Band Championship 2018

  • Limerick International Band Championship

Driving snow fails to dampen the spirit of Ireland’s only International Marching Band Championship.

Youngsville High School from Pennsylvania in the United States have been named as the overall winners of the 48th Limerick International Band Championship – Ireland’s only marching band championship.

Driving snow failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who lined the streets of Limerick as they cheered and supported the 1,300 musicians from 20 bands takes part in the championship.

Bands from the United States, Germany, England, Northern Ireland, and across Ireland marched down O’Connell Street in Limerick as part of the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival 2018.

The 70-strong Youngsville musicians were presented with the Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy as overall winners of the championship organised by Grooveyard on behalf of Limerick City and County Council.

The winners in the other categories were:

  • Best International Band – Vestavia Hills High School Band, Alabama, USA
  • Best Youth Band – Clondalkin Youth Band, Dublin, Ireland
  • Best Local Band – Newcastle West and District Pipe Band, Limerick, Ireland
  • Best Musical Performance – Trommlerzug und Musikkapelle Uffing, Germany
  • Best Uniform – Stony Creek Fife and Drum Corps, Connecticut, USA
  • Most Entertaining Performance – The Friendship Band, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Special Judges Award – City of Limerick Pipe Band, Limerick, Ireland
  • Special Judges Award – St Mary’s Prize Band, Limerick, Ireland
  • Special Judges Award – Banna Chluain Meala, Tipperary, Ireland

Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Marian Hurley  congratulated the winners: “The Limerick International Band Championship is such a unique event and I’m delighted that it is continuing to be as popular as ever, drawing high quality bands to Limerick. Even though it was so cold and snowing, people’s hearts were warmed by the wonderful sounds coming from the bands. They were amazing and they were all in such good humour.”

“They did their drills just as they would have rehearsed and hats off to them. They were brilliant and to all those people who stayed and watched and cheered them on, fantastic!”

Bands performed at the reviewing stand for three minutes as part of the judging process with the winners announced at Arthur’s Quay following the march.

Performances at the 48th Limerick International Band Championship were judged by an international panel consisting of Dr Stan Michalski, Norman Rogerson, Dr Andrea Strauss, Evelyn Grant and Niall Carroll.

The head judge, Dr Stan Michalski said: “I want to congratulate all the bands for taking the opportunity to walk through the entire parade, because it was very difficult on the instrumentalists with the weather being so cold and the snow falling.”

“This is one of the good parades and international competitions because it features all types of bands and you can see the improvement over the years. I’ve been judging here for five years and I’m very much impressed with the improvement in the parade and musicianship.”

The Limerick International Band Championship is part of the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival 2018.

St Patrick’s Festival Extravaganza | King John’s Castle | Sun 18 March | 9pm

Dramatic illuminations will be projected onto the historic castle, followed by a spectacular fireworks display which will transform the city’s skies into an explosion of colour! This promises to be a tremendous treat for the whole.

St Patrick’s Festival Extravaganza at King John’s Castle event is a collaboration between King John’s Castle and Limerick School of Art and Design LIT, with grant funding from Limerick City and County Council.

The best viewing points are Clancy’s Strand and Sarsfield Bridge.

For all events visit

Grooveyard is producing this year’s festival on behalf of Limerick City and County Council. Limerick St Patrick’s Festival is kindly sponsored by Analog Devices, King John’s Castle, Limerick Strand Hotel, Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick Institute of Technology, Mr Binman, ishka and Limerick’s Live95fm.

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk