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St Patrick's Day in Westmeath

Thursday, 16th March, 2017 5:27pm
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St Patrick's Day in Westmeath

St Patrick's Day in Mullingar.

St Patrick's Day in Westmeath

St Patrick's Day in Mullingar.

There are parades in Clonmellon (noon) Tyrrellspass, (2pm), Mullingar (4pm) and Castlepollard (5pm) on St Patrick's Day, and in Delvin (3pm) on Sunday, March 19. Athlone is at 2.30pm and Moate at 4pm on St Patrick's Day. Read on for details.

Mullingar

Hugely ambitious plans for the revitalisation of the St Patrick's Day Parade in Mullingar are in motion. A new committee is in place for 2017, and starting this year, they hope to crank up local appreciation of our national holiday to festival level.

This year, the parade ties in with the third annual AON Mullingar Half Marathon, which kicks off at 10.30, carries on in the direction of Dublin and returns to the town park.

In tandem with this, the committee has put in a “structured schedule” which, it hopes, will “guarantee an enhanced parade and day for the town”, and a “festival atmosphere” in Mullingar Town Park for the return of the half marathon participants, which will spread out to the main street for the parade - the theme for which is ‘Our Community’.

While the half marathon progresses, traditional music from The Shy Talks, the Fox family and a DJ will be provided. Local food stalls will also be in operation.

The focus on the town park continues until 2pm, when all the runners should be back. At that time, children's entertainment will start on Castle Street, as well as music by Music Generation (2pm) and Kelly's Heroes (3pm) on a music stage erected at Market Square/Mount Street. Meanwhile, there are plans to run a 5-a-side Zorb football competition on Dominick Street – details of that are to be confirmed.

The main event begins at 4pm, with floats leaving the staging area at Columb Barracks, and progressing down the town via the Green Bridge, Dominick Street, Oliver Plunkett Street, past the viewing stand on Pearse Street, finishing at Nugent's Corner.

The celebrations will continue at 5pm back at Market Square with more music from Radio Star.

PRO for the committee, Marty Mulligan, says that the committee wants to bring an added “wow factor” to the Mullingar parade, giving businesses and community groups a great platform on which to advertise themselves.

There is no charge for community entrants as usual, but there is a charge of €100 for commercial entries. The committee asks that businesses team up with a local school or community organisation to enter a creative float and use the opportunity to advertise their business, both on the day and on social media, to a large audience.

“We have many community groups and charity organisations in the area, and the parade is a great opportunity to showcase what they have achieved,” the parade website states. “This is your chance to be as creative as possible and to showcase a community group, local school or charity of your choice whilst also highlighting your business in the best possible light.”

Weblink: www.mullingarparade.ie.

Delvin

LAST year’s St Patrick’s Festival Parade in Delvin was one to remember. With over 60 floats taking part, it was arguably the biggest parade in the county, and ended with a gripping re-enactment of the story of the 1916 Rising leaders.

This year, parade committee chairman Larry Monaghan and his team of organisers hope that it will be as big, if not bigger. The 2017 instalment runs on Sunday March 19, commencing at Delvin Salesyard at 3pm. Roads around the village will be closed from 2pm.

The organisers have pulled off a huge coup for this year’s event. With the renowned Artane Band and celebrated Gaelic games commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh coming to town, Delvin will bask in a real All-Ireland final day atmosphere on Sunday.

But GAA won’t be the central theme of the parade; current affairs and culture will also be given the Delvin treatment, with local pubs usually immersed in a battle royale for the funniest and most topical floats.

Funds for the parade were raised last year through an American Tea Party and a race night, but lines are currently on sale for a raffle, the first prize for which will be €250.

For more information, to enter a float or to volunteer your services on the day, contact Michael Leonard on 044 966 4484 or drop in to his shop on Main Street, where entry forms are available. The last committee meeting is this Thursday evening in Fatima.

Tyrrellspass

TYRRELLSPASS’S St Patrick’s Day Parade was a tremendous success last year, and like Delvin, was noted for the attention it paid to the 1916 commemorations. The Tidy Town was featured on RTÉ as well.

Festivities in Tyrrellspass this year kick off on St Patrick's Day at 2pm, with entertainment on the street from 1.30pm. The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Celtic Ireland’, and the procession will start at Killavalley, Tyrrellspass.

Participants include Mullingar Town Band, Rathanna Marching Band and many more, and plenty of exciting floats are lined up. The parade is supported by Westmeath County Council.

To enter a float, contact Joe Daly (086 402 3881), Frank Martin (087 260 0586) or Theresa Dunne (086 190 1065). Entry is €50 for businesses, and €25 for community/voluntary groups. Charity groups are also welcome.

Castlepollard

Preparations for the 2017 North Westmeath St Patrick’s Day Parade in Castlepollard are advancing, with a successful fundraising table quiz held in McCormack’s Bar on Friday February 3.

The parade itself takes place on the Square, starting at the usual time of 5pm on the evening of March 17, with floats gathering on Water Street beforehand. Mullingar Town Band will be among the main attractions, and there will be much in the line of side attractions to ensure fun for all the family.

The theme for this year – following on from the hugely successful 1916 theme last year – is ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’. The organising committee want to make the parade a shop window for the history and natural heritage of north Westmeath – Castlepollard, of course, being at the centre of a rich landscape including the Benedictine Abbey at Fore, Tullynally Castle, Lough Derravaragh and more.

Clonmellon

The St Patrick’s Day Parade committee in Clonmellon have confirmed that the village’s parade will be going ahead on March 17, with a noon start, and local acts providing street entertainment.

Floats will assemble on the Kilskyre Road after 11.15am Mass, and after the parade, a cake sale will take place in Market Square, and volunteers are asked to get baking for same!

All floats are welcome, and can be entered free of charge. For more, see the ‘Clonmellon St Patrick’s Day Parade’ page on Facebook.

Moate

A new committee at the helm of the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Moate is calling on the community to get behind this year’s festivities and enter bands, floats and novelty acts to ensure the town dons the green in style this year.

There are prizes in various categories, including most appropriately dressed adult and junior, best float, community entry, best shop window.

Organisers are also looking for helpers to help out on the day before and after the parade, which is due to kick off at 3.30pm with entertainment by Maggie Dunne, the Moate All Whites All-Ireland Scór na nÓg winning ballad group, and Celtic Blondes. The actual parade then commences at 4.30pm. Olympic boxer Joe Ward will also be in attendance on the day as one of the special guests.

The grand marshal for this year’s parade will be revealed prior to the parade on Friday, March 17.

The event will include street theatre, music and family events. The parade will assemble at the Dublin Road opposite the Carmelite grounds, and will proceed to the Review Stand on Main Street and will disperse at Tuar Ard.

Anyone interested in entering the event or getting involved can contact the Moate Action Group office 090 6466404 or Cllr John Dolan 087 2278261 or committee members Frank Murphy, Peter Dolan and Annette Dalton. Email: moateactiongroup@outlook.com.

Athlone

Plans for a St Patrick’s Day Festival appeared to be in doubt before a new committee announced ambitious plans for the 2017 parade at a recent meeting in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel.

“It’s going to be more like a festival than just a parade,” chairperson Caoimhe O’Connell told the meeting.

BMX stunt bikers (Thunder Action Sports), buskers, live band performances, dancing displays, karaoke and a duck race (held in conjunction with Athlone Boat Club) are among the confirmed side events.

Among the live acts confirmed for March 17 are 40 Watts, US based-band Weekend Celebrity (which features Athlone native Donna McCaul), the Conway Byrne Irish Dance Academy, Attitude Dance, children from Right Start Montessori, and the choir of St Mary’s Primary School.

The main parade - part-funded by Westmeath County Council and a ‘Go Fund Me’ crowdfunding initiative - will start at 2.30pm and in a reverse of the usual route, will travel from west to east, starting at the Shamrock Lodge Hotel and finishing at the Diskin Centre in Golden Island.

The route will be Connaught Street, O’Connell Street, Main Street and Castle Street before crossing the bridge. On the east side of the Shannon, it will continue down Church Street and Irishtown, through St Patrick’s Terrace, before reaching the roundabout at the start of the Dublin Road and turning down to the Diskin Centre.

Weblink: www.facebook.com/patricksdayathlone/

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