GALLERY: St Patrick's Day Parades a huge success as thousands turn out across county

Well done to all the organisers!

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Carlow Town came alive last weekend to celebrate the first annual St Patrick's Festival with parades across the county also seeing a huge turn out of people (see pictures above). 

Featuring a diverse mixture of live music, street entertainment, food vendors and kids activities the festival in Carlow Town was a huge hit with locals and tourists alike.

The annual parade drew the largest crowd of spectators in recent memory. Participants were cheered and encouraged along the entirety of the new route which made for a great atmosphere all round.

Kevin Brady, chairman of the organising committee, said: "We were blown away by the amazing turnout on Sunday, it was just incredible!

"I spoke to one participant who said she didn't realise there was that many people in County Carlow let alone Carlow Town!"

The crowds were entertained throughout the weekend by Tadgh Griffin and his band, musicians from The Vault, Faradio, Celtic Storm Ceili Band and Roisin Dubh.

Street entertainers Jack Wise and Circus Fergus wowed onlookers with their skills and humour. Tumbling Dice then brought the festival to a close after the parade and had the Haymarket rocking well into the evening.

The Grand Marshall of the parade this year was Shauntelle Tynan and she was kindly brought around the route by the Carlow Vintage and Classic Motor Club who were very well represented on the day with a huge array of vehicles from times past. 

Asked if the festival was going ahead next year, Kevin said: "I think that one thing is quite clear from last weekend and that is the people of Carlow really enjoyed themselves.

"In the next couple of weeks we will hold a review meeting where we will discuss this year's event and look forward to next year's one. But I certainly would like to see the festival return and continue to grow in the years to come.

"Unfortunately we had some very bad weather to contend with on Saturday which had a negative impact on the numbers attending but Sunday more than made up for that.

"You can spend months planning an event but we can't control good old mother nature!"

The festival also trialled a new initiative in being the first "Green Festival" in Carlow.

Segregated waste disposal areas were set up and manned by volunteers from the Carlow Environmental Network headed up by Jannette O'Brien from Carlow County Council.

"I would like to thank everyone who took part, participated or contributed in anyway over the weekend. Without our fantastic volunteers and organizing committee the festival would not have been possible.

"We also received a huge amount of support from Carlow County Council, Creative Ireland, Carlow Arts Office and the business community at large. Roll on 2020," Kevin added.