THERE may be no parade in Fermanagh this St Patrick’s Day, but there will no shortage of celebrations across the county this March 17th.
With schools and community organisations around Fermanagh organising their own smaller events, the county town will still be the focus for festivities, and the bank holiday promises to be a day filled with music, dancing and entertainment for all the family.
There will be a traditional feel to Enniskillen town centre, which will be awash with talented local musicians, such as the Cavanaleck Pipe Band, St Mary’s Silver Band, or Blathnaid, Saoirse and Darragh Rooney from Roslea CCE. There will also be dancers aplenty, such as Irish dancers Aoife Rooney and Caitlin Flanagan, or Sophie Armstrong from Erne Highland Dancers.
There will be much more happening down at the castle, too, where there will be a colourful market, food stalls, music, and family entertainment.
It will be the first time since 2019 St Patrick’s Day will have been celebrated publicly in the county, following two years of Covid. Sadly, the pandemic still impacted this year’s full programme of events, with Project St Patrick taking the tough decision of cancelling this year’s parade after Covid uncertainty hampered preparations efforts this year.
“I would like to put on record my deepest gratitude to Project St Patrick Committee and all the volunteers who invest so much time in effort into making St Patrick’s Day in Enniskillen such a memorable experience,” said Cllr Errol Thompson, chair of the local Council, which is funding the celebrations.
“Unfortunately given the short timeframe, they were unable to put a parade together for this year, but they have promised to be back next year and I would encourage everyone to start making preparations now for 2023.”
For those who simply must take in a parade as part of their St Patrick’s celebrations, there are a number taking place in neighbouring counties.
There will be a number of parades across Cavan and Monaghan, such as in Cavan Town and Ballyconnell, or in Clones, where those who like to leave things later can enjoy an evening parade and fireworks display, with festivities kicking off at 7pm. Donegal Town will also be hosting a parade, following uncertainty it may not go ahead due to an initial lack of interest, however it will be to another Donegal town that many Fermanagh families will be flocking.
With a theme of “welcome back”, the Bundoran St Patrick’s Day committee are looking forward to the return of their friends from Fermanagh this year, after a two year absence.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to have such a volume of people in the town and we thought that the ‘welcome back’ or ‘fáilte ar ais’ theme was more than appropriate as we open our doors and welcome our old friends as well as some new guests back to Bundoran to experience our legendary hospitality and welcome this St Patrick’s Day,” said parade director John O’Connell.
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