Dundalk will hold its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade next Monday, 17 March.
This year the schedule of festival activities are set to be better than ever, with an estimated 20,000 spectators taking to the streets of Dundalk in merriment for the occasion.
There is a great schedule of events planned for the St. Patrick’s weekend.
On Saturday, 15 March there will be a BMX bike display team and vintage bike displays from 12 noon until 5pm.
There will be lots of other activities at the Square during the day also including football skills by Glen muir FC, a martial arts display, gaelic school by the Young Irelanders, basketball skills by Liby Dynamites and rugby skills by the Dundalk Rugby Minis.
Dundalk Tidy Towns are also hosting an open door tour of Dundalks gothic gem, St. Patricks Cathedral with Fr. Garrett Campbell at 3pm. The tour is free and open to all with booking required.
On Sunday, 16 March there will be a family treasure trail starting at 2.30pm from the Square with over €1000 worth of great prizes to be won.
Of course the the parade on Monday is the main event and will begin as usual at 1pm with with this years Grand Marshalls Darach McQuaid, one of the chief organisers involved in bringing the world renowned Giro d’Italia to Ireland in May and Jack Murphy of the Cuchulainn Cycling Club kicking off the celebrations. They will be accompanied by the Cuchulainn Cycling Club.
This year the main viewing stand, which held its place outside Ulster Bank for many years, will now be relocated to Park Street in front of Dunnes Stores.
The parade will be followed by a concert and great family give-aways and prizes including a family pass for Quad Biking at Irish County Quads, a family trek at Ravensdale Lodge, a family pass to Red Mountain Open Farm, a family pass to Tayto Park, an outdoor adventure centre at Carlingford Adventure Centre and many many more, at the Market Square.
As part of the schedule of events there will also be a St. Patrick’s Eve Irish Concert at the Tain Theatre featuring names such as David Martin of The Three Tenors, TG4 award winner Rosie Stewart performing and compere Paudie Breen, it promises to be a great night suitable for the whole family.
The show starts at 8pm sharp on Sunday, 16 March. Tickets are priced at €12 (€10 children and concessions) and family tickets are €40 (2+2).To order tickets call 042 9392919.
Of course there will be plenty of market stalls and kiddies rides over the weekend on the Market Square along with live entertainment, music and other family activities taking place throughout the town.
There will also be plenty of events in bars and other venues throughout the town including McEntegarts, the Crowne Plaza, the Fairways, Dundalk Stadium, the Spirit Store, Dundalk Youth Centre, Dundalk FC, Punters bar, the Longwalk and Marshes shopping centres, McCourts, McKeowns, Browes Nest, the Phoenix, Jimmys bar, McGeoughs, the Fane and Courtneys.
For a full schedule of events log onto the official parade Facebook page at www.facebook.com/parade.dundalk.
Mean while in Ardee the St Patrick’s day parade will be kicking off at 3pm sharp
This year St Patrick’s Day Parade in Ardee promises to be as big and better than last year’s with Mr Tom Minogue proving to be a very popular choice for Grand Marshall .
Tom of course served the town for many years as a town commissioner and then town councillor.
There will be a selection of novelty and commercial floats with the sounds of several brass and accordion bands floating in the air, headlined by the town’s very own award winning Ardee Concert Band .
There will be prizes galore along with free sweets and flags for the little ones. Something for all the family. .
Also present will be the town’s Italian friends.
Ardee is twinned with the Italian town of Netunno and each year a delegation comes from Netunno to join in the St Patrick’s week celebrations.
So the Italian flag will once again march with our national flag in what is surely one of the finest parades in the country.