Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival Ends on a High Note with 52nd International Band Championship Parade

  • Overall Parade Champion- Lakeville South Marching Cougars at the 52nd Limerick International Band Championship. Photo: Brian Arthur
  • Banna Chluain Meala, Clonmel Youth Marching Band at the 52nd Limerick International Band Championship. Photo: Brian Arthur
  • Best Uniform – Mullingar Town Band  pictured as Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival Ended on a High Note with the 52nd International Band Championship. Photo: Brian Arthur
  • Lakeville South Marching Cougars were Crowned Overall Winners at the 52nd International Band Championship Parade. Photo: Don Moloney

There were chants of “Go Cougars” as a band from Minnesota took the top prize following their energetic performance at the 52nd International Band Championship Parade in Limerick.

The 110 strong Lakeville South Marching Cougars impressed the four judges and the thousands of spectators who lined the streets for the championship which is unique to Limerick.

Sixteen bands from across Ireland the UK and the US filled the city with the sound of beating drums, transcendent trumpet tones and majestic marching musicians.

The winning band was presented with the Silver Perpetual Trophy by the Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Gerald Mitchell, after a free concert in Arthur’s Quay Park following the parade.

    Lakeville South Marching Cougars were Crowned Overall Winners at the 52nd International Band Championship Parade. Photo: Don Moloney
    Lakeville South Marching Cougars were Crowned Overall Winners at the 52nd International Band Championship Parade. Photo: Don Moloney

    The winners in all categories were:

    • Overall Parade Champion- Lakeville South Marching Cougars 
    • Best International Band – Lakeville South Marching Cougars 
    • Best Youth Band – Youngsville High School Marching Eagles 
    • Best Local Band – Boherbouy Brass and Reed Band 
    • Best Musical Performance – Clondalkin Youth Band 
    • Best Uniform – Mullingar Town Band 
    • Most Entertaining Performance – Banna Chluain Meala 
    • Best Pipe Band – Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Pipes and Drums  
    • Special Judges Award for Spirt of the Festival – The Friendship Band  
    • Special Judges Award for Spirt of the Festival – Pyjama Band 
    • Mol an Óige (Praise the Youth) Award - CBS Pipe Band 

    Mayor Mitchell showed his appreciation for the Championship, saying,

    “What a display of exceptional musical talent. These bands marched through our streets with an explosive energy and all-round high entertainment. We love to see all the Limerick bands from the city and county and also the bands that travel from around the country and the world to come here every year. There’s a huge number of visitors in Limerick this weekend. We are the only ones in the country who have the International Band Championship and you can see that the people of Limerick appreciate that as they always turn out in large numbers.”

     
    La Canada High School Marching Spartans at the 52nd Limerick International Band Championship
    Madeline Yew from La Cañada High School Marching Spartans pictured at the 52nd International Band Championship. Photo: Brian Arthur

    The four judges of the 52nd International Band Championship were  

    • Niall Carroll, Presenter RTE Lyric FM & Former Competitor in International Band Championship 

    • Dr. Evelyn Grant, Lecturer Cork School of Music,  Cork Pops Orchestra & Presenter on RTE Lyric FM 

    • Mr. Norman Rodgerson - joined the armed forces in 1957 and left in 1984 having reached the rank of First Class Warrant Officer and Bandmaster. 

    • Dr. Jonathan Helmick, serves as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Slippery Rock University. 

    Dr. Evelyn Grant was delighted to see musicians of all ages taking part: 

    “I was very inspired by the intergenerational participation in the bands and the way the tradition of pipe band music, fife and drum band music and the highly entertaining American band style performance combines in this championship. There was a very high quality of musicianship and very entertaining selections of music so it was great for the crowd. Great diversity and great to see people coming from all over Ireland.” 

    Dr. Jonathan Helmick said Limerick is lucky to have such a display of talent each year: 

    “You’re the luckiest in Ireland, you are the only ones that have it. To bring together this much talent and this much passion and everyone who shares a common language and love of this art form, it’s beautiful. All of the groups that performed today should be really proud of themselves in the way they presented themselves and in the way they represented their communities.” 

    Members of Pyjama Brass Band pictured at the 52nd International Band Championship. Photo: Don Moloney
    Members of Pyjama Brass Band pictured at the 52nd International Band Championship. Photo: Don Moloney

    The 52nd Limerick International Band Championship was part of the Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival 2024.

    A firm family favourite, The Panoramic Wheel at Arthur’s Quay Park remains in place until 14 April allowing you to soar above the city and take in the stunning 360 degree views across Limerick’s skyline.

    Grooveyard produced 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, Crescent Shopping Centre and Fáilte Ireland.

    Media Sponsors are Limerick Leader, Live 95, Limerick Post and Spin South West.

    Keep up to date with all the festivities on Limerick.ie/StPatricksFestival and Limerick St Patrick’s Festival social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter).  

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