Offaly Independent

Published: Tuesday, 11th March, 2014 12:54pm

Colour to light up streets of Tullamore for St Patrick’s Day

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This year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Tullamore yet again promises to be something special! With no less than six marching bands, a number of dancing groups, sporting trophies a plenty and many magical and colourful floats, this promises to be a parade that nobody wants to miss. And there will also be a lama and a goat on the march!The parade starts at 11.30am sharp from the car park of the Bridge Centre. All groups are asked to be at the Bridge Centre by 10.45am.  The route is High St, Bridge St, Colmcille St, over the Kilbeggan Bridge and finish at the GAA Centre on the Arden Road. All groups are asked not to stop before this point.There will be plenty to see on the day, including: SportExpect to see several cups and trophies on display as the past year has been a special one for Tullamore GAA, Ballinamere GAA, Tullamore AFC and Tullamore Rugby Club. It will be a proud time for all these clubs as they march proudly in the parade.Tullamore Comhaltas and Durrow Set DancersCome early and enjoy great entertainment from Tullamore Comhaltas and the Durrow Set Dancers.  This starts at the review stand, near the Wolftrap Bar, at 10.30am. A group of students from local schools will sing Amhrain Na Bhfiann.Theme of ParadeThe theme for this year’s Parade is ‘The Best Of Tullamore’. Organisers said this week they want to celebrate all that is good in Tullamore in community organisations, voluntary groups, sport, history, music, arts, education, youth and culture.  “We want all groups to take part in the parade and really show Tullamore at its best. Dancing groups and dancing classes are very welcome. We are so lucky to have so many organisations in Tullamore and such great facilities and the parade gives everyone a chance to showcase all that is good,” outlines Cllr Sean O’Brien, Parade Secretary.Guest of HonourThe Guest of Honour this Year is Seamus O’Connor. Seamus has been a member of the committee and MC for the parade for the past 25 years and the organisers are delighted to honour him this year and ask him to cut the ribbon and officially start the parade.   AnimalsAnimals will also feature as many proud dog owners display their many breeds of dogs, all suitably attired for the day. And there is a prize for the best dressed dog. There will also be animals from a pet farm including a lama, an alpaca, a goat and a miniature pony.SafetySafety for all is essential and organisers ask that everyone fully co-operate with the Gardai, Civil Defence and the parade stewards. A copy of the health and safety plan is available to view at the Town Council Office or at the review stand.Market and Window DisplayThere will be a market in Market Square on Sunday, March 16. A window display competition for all local shops will be judged on Friday next and the winner announced at the parade.American Cars and BikersOur friends with the giant American Cars will be back again this year and many bikers from Kevin Casey’s KC Motorcycles group will entertain the biking enthusiasts.PrizesAs usual there will be stiff competition for the many generous prizes on offer. Prizes will be awarded to the following categories: 1) Overall Winner;  2) Best Band; 3) Best Community Entry; 4) Best Youth Entry; 5) Best Sport Entry; 6) Best School Entry; 7) Best Dressed Dog;  8) Window Display; 9) Most Entertaining Entry.

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