The Pride of Bixby Marching Band from Oklahoma have been named as the overall winners of the 51st Limerick International Band Championship – Ireland’s only marching band competition.
For the second year running, the Limerick International Band Championship returned to the Henry Street route as the city streets were filled with the sound of beating drums, brilliant trumpet tones and rhythmic marching musicians from across the globe for what is a uniquely Limerick experience.
A 400-strong marching band from the University of Florida was amongst the 1,500 musicians who provided uplifting musical entertainment to thousands of spectators who braved wet weather to line the streets of Limerick. A total of 19 marching bands competed this year, five from the United States along with 14 other groups from Canada, Northern Ireland, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Westmeath.
The winning band was presented with the Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy as overall winners of the championship.
The winners were:
- Overall Parade Champion- The Pride of Bixby Marching Band
- Best International Band – Burlington Teen Tour Band
- Best Youth Band – Grandview High School
- Best Local Band – Newcastle West and District Band
- Best Musical Performance – Banna Chluain Meala
- Best Uniform – Clondalkin Youth Band
- Most Entertaining Performance – The Friendship Band Northern Ireland
- Best Pipe Band – City of Limerick Pipe Band
- Special Judges Award (Best Drill) – Maghery Band Academy
- Special Judges Award (Best Repertoire) – Boherbouy Brass and Reed Band
- Special Judges Award (Pipe Band) – Killorglin and District Pipe Band
Cllr Olivia O’Sullivan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick City and County Council, said: “The bands are amazing. We love to see all the Limerick bands from the city and county and then also the bands that travel from around the country and abroad. There is a great international element to it. There’s a huge number of visitors in Limerick this weekend. You have the people involved in the bands and the people who have travelled with them. It’s amazing for Limerick. It’s pretty incredible, 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 turned out in large numbers despite the weather.”
As is now tradition, the competing bands performed at the reviewing stand for three minutes as part of the judging process with the winners announced during a free jamboree for the public at Arthur’s Quay Park following the competition.
Judging panel member, Brad Snow of Missouri State University said: “It was very difficult to choose an overall winner because the overall quality of all the bands keeps going up every year. It’s a good problem to have. This is so much more intimate than the other performance opportunities that these bands have across the country. Travelling internationally is all about building those connections with the local people and that’s what really sets this competition apart.”
The Limerick International Band Championship was part of the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival 2023.
A firm family favourite, the Panoramic Wheel at Arthur’s Quay Park remains in place until 21 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 and Fáilte Ireland.
Media Sponsors are Limerick Leader, Live 95, Limerick Post, Spin South West and I Love Limerick.