Organised by Cork City Council, the Cork St. Patrick’s Festival begins tomorrow Thursday March 17 and runs to Sunday March 20.
The Parade will begin at 1pm on St Patrick’s Day. The parade will begin at the junction of South Mall and Parnell Place, before it makes its way along South Mall and Grand Parade, then up St. Patrick’s Street to finish on Merchants Quay.
The Cork St. Patrick’s Day Parade will feature over 2500 local community participants, plus Commissioned pieces and visiting groups from the United States - including Massachusetts State Troopers, Philadelphia Irish Trad Tours and the Bixby Ruby group from Oklahoma.
To mark the centenary of the foundation of An Garda Siochána, members of the Gardaí will take part in the parade this year. They will be represented by the Regional Ceremonial Unit, retired members and present-day Garda staff, along with a vintage Vauxhall Victor car, which was used for president Nixon's visit to Ireland in 1971
National arts organisations joining the parade include LuxE from Donegal, who bring a special Parade of Rainbows to Cork this year. Each rainbow celebrates the heroic struggle and solidarity of ordinary people everywhere that has brought us through the past 2 years. Including the involvement of nearly 50 local students from MTU Cork School of Music, this procession of rainbows is sure to light up the streets.
Locally, arts organisations Cork Community Art Link and Cork Puppetry Company also bring large scale floats to wow the public – expect to see a giant granny and a huge heart on the route.
Joining the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Colm Kelleher as guests of the parade will be some members of the Ukrainian Community.
In the body of the parade, Polish community support group Together Razem has invited people in Cork from several Eastern European countries to parade with them under a banner of solidarity – Together4Ukraine, to show their support to the Ukrainian people.
The group will be led out by recent arrivals to Cork, who will be surrounded with the support of friends from Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Georgia and Lithuania, representing the richness of Eastern European culture, national costumes and music.
In further solidarity with Ukraine, Cork City Hall will continue to fly the Ukrainian national flag and will remain lit up in blue and yellow for the duration of the St. Patricks Festival, as will several of the city’s notable buildings. Others will light up in in green as they did last year.
The Parade will be streamed live on www.corkcity.ie/en/tv from 12.45pm on Thursday March 17.
If you would like to send a message to the live stream – a greeting from near or far to be read out on air - please email email@example.com or message on Facebook @corkstpatricksfestival or Twitter @corkpaddysfest
Wheelchair users and those with special needs will be accommodated in a special area on Patrick Street, and there will be ISL Interpreter services available beside the Grandstand, which this year is situated on the South Mall. Former Grand Marshal, Olympian and Presenter of Breakfast on Cork’s RED FM Rob Heffernan will MC the Parade.
Information on road closures and diversions, bus re-routing, Park and Ride bus facilities are all listed on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie along with a full listing of festival events.