St Patrick and Mickey Mouse are not two world famous icons you would put together as buddies but they walked side by side behind the local brass band at the head of Carrick-on-Suir’s St Patrick’s Day Parade last Saturday.
Our patron saint sported a colourful crozier in the shape of a snake’s head and a shamrock trimmed mitre for the celebration of his feast day and Mickey bought along Minnie Mouse for the pageant.
Unfortunately St Paddy’s connections with the powers that be in heaven weren’t enough to keep away the rain for the occasion.
The skies opened up as the crowds gathered in the town centre to watch the parade and the hundreds of participants assembled at the Fair Green.
But while the first part of the parade was marred by bad weather, the rain drops dried up as the pagaent made its way down Main Street and onto Kickham Street.
Many of the parade spectators, both young and old, dressed in forty shades of green and proudly waved the tricolour for the occasion with some sporting leprechaun hats and green wigs while kids painted their faces.
Carrick-on-Suir Brass Band led the parade that featured hundreds of marchers representing an array of local sports, arts and social clubs and community organisations.
Sports clubs from athletics, rugby and boxing to GAA, soccer and karate were represented by hundreds of their juvenile members, who walked in parade dressed proudly in their team colours.
Carrick-on-Suir’s Presentation Primary School ‘s very colourful entry featured their students wearing crowns with painted shamrocks and highlighted the school’s successful environmental Green Flag campaigns.
Meanwhile, young members of Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society’s Academy of Performing Arts dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz, the upcoming show they are preparing to stage.
There was an impressive display of vintage cars and tractors, the local Fire Station showed off its fire fighting vehicles and equipment and Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue showcased its rescue boats.
After the parade, the festivities continued on the Fair Green where parade participants gave demonstrations of sports such as karate and boxing and there were performances from musical and dance groups.
The parade organising committee presented awards to the best parade entries and best St Patrick’s Day shop front. Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue won the Best Float award and the Best Walking Group prize went to Piltown AFC. The Bridal Academy on Main Street won the Best Shop Front award.
Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald, who watched the parade with other Town Council members from a viewing stand on Kickham Street, said there was a great energy and buzz surrounding this year’s parade and it was a great family occasion for the people of Carrick-on-Suir.
He paid tribute to the parade’s organisers and the efforts of all the town’s social, sporting and community groups that entered the pagaent.
Cllr Liam Walsh of Carrick-on-Suir’s St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee thanked all the parade participants and people of Carrick-on-Suir for their support of the parade.
He also thanked the local Civil Defence, Gardai and all who helped ensure the parade ran smoothly on the day.