WITH less than a month to go, hard work is continuing behind the scenes ahead of the return of Enniskillen’s spectacular St Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Day, and as the organisers have said, it’s “about time.”
The theme of this year’s celebration – which will the first time the massive event will be held in the county town since the Covid disruption – is appropriately ‘Back to the Future.’
The craic is due to get underway at the Broadmeadow on March 17th at 1.30pm, where there will be a free family fun day with a range of live entertainment hosted by popular DJ Bob.
There will also be a wealth of free activities, from balloon modeling to bouncy castles, soccer skills to water based taster sessions. There will be the chance to mingle with dinosaurs and Disney heroes, get snapped with some of the silver screen’s most recognisable vehicles, as well as face-painting and giltter tattoos.
On top of that, there will be free tasty treats thanks to local businesses, with GT Exhaust sponsoring chocolate fountains and candy floss courtesy of Balcas.
“We’re delighted that our wakeboarding leprechauns are back, and we’ve expanded our water activities – making celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Ireland’s Only Island Town, a truly unique experience,” said Roisin McManus from Project St Patrick.
“For those wishing to grab prime pole position there will be lots of fun, pre parade on the Diamond in Enniskillen town centre with a live performance from the Hand Me Downs at 2.15pm as well as traditional dancers and walkabout characters to keep you entertained.”
Roisin added for those who would prefer a less boisterous viewing platform, Fr Raymond Donnelly was once again this year providing a
‘Quiet Space’ at St Michael’s Parish Centre. Booking for this platform is essential.
“You can always take time out too, to view the entries to our children’s art competition in the Legion while enjoying traditional music and dancing performances,” she said.
As for the parade itself – which Roisin has promised “will have been worth waiting for” – it will be led off at 3.30pm by the 2023 grand marshals, OMG Foundation.
The parade will feature a range of traditional and carnival-style floats, vintage and futuristic vehicles acrobatics, live music as well as the most amazing opportunity to meet T-rex the interactive dinosaur and his baby, Rex plus much, much more.
Roisin continued, “As it’s been a few years there will be loads of giveaways on the day that will help everyone enjoy our return, whatever the weather.”
While the event, which in years past has attracted tens of thousands of revellers to Enniskillen, is organised by a small but hard working team of cross-community volunteers, it is support by the Council, Enniskillen BID, and local business.
Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh Council, Cllr Barry McElduff, said he was delighted the Council was supporting the event.
“I am confident that the planned programme of events will bring the streets of Enniskillen alive on March 17th with a spectacular parade and entertainment to suit everyone based on the theme of Back To The Future,” said Cllr McElduff.
“The Council recognises the important contribution events make to the social, tourism, economic, community and cultural life of the District. Supporting events such as St Patrick’s Day helps to ensure this can continue to be achieved.
“I would heartily commend Project St Patrick for their work in planning the programme to date and I wish them every success for the event. And a happy St Patrick’s Day/Lá ‘Fhéile Phadraig, of course, to all who attend.”
To keep up to date on all the plans – including the exciting fringe events which include a potential illuminate flotilla around the island town on St Patrick’s Eve – stay tuned to the Project St Patrick Facebook page.
Details will also soon be announced of a concert by special international guests, the Highland Dragon Pipe Band, which is coming all the way from Germany in conjunction with Enniskillen Pipe Band.
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