Dundalk as it Happens
Big crowds expected at St Patrick’s Day parades in Dundalk, Cooley and Blackrock
Big crowds are expected at the three St Patrick’s Day parades taking place in the area on Saturday.
The Dundalk parade gets underway at 1pm while there will also be a first ever Cooley parade at 12.30pm. Blackrock will also host a parade this year following its cancellation last year and it will get underway at 1.30pm.
Undoubtedly the biggest event will be the Dundalk parade, sponsored by Dundalk credit Union.
It will feature a family fun zone and food market in the Market Square afterwards with the England v Ireland Six Nations rugby match being shown on the big screen.
The days events will start, of course, with the Parade itself. Businesses and Community Groups are embracing the ‘Dream Big’ theme in planning their entries for the parade which sets off through Dundalk’s main thoroughfare at 1pm from the Castletown Road. Grand Marshal will be local musician Zoe Conway.
As was the case last year, there will be two viewing stands along the route.
Along with the Grand Marshal/Sponsors Stand, there will once again be a second stand for representatives of various charities, voluntary and community groups.
Following the parade the fun continues in the town centre. Wristbands are now on sale for The Pelican Promotions Family Fun Zone in association with Dundalk Credit Union Ltd. Wristbands allowing unlimited access to all the amusements (age & height permitting) priced €6 or €20 for a family of four are now available from Stitchcraft on Earl Street and the Dundalk BIDS Office on the Market Square.
The first ever Cooley parade will get underway at 12.30pm from Murphy’s Petrol Station at Bush before proceeding along the main Dundalk to Carlingford Road to the Cooley Kickhams complex at Fr McEvoy Park.
The Carlingford Pipe Band will welcome the parade to Fr McEvoy Park. Refreshments will be served inside the complex afterwards, including traditional Irish stew. Live music will also be provided by The Rambling String Band.
The Ireland v England Six Nations game will be shown on big screens in the complex following the parade, as well as the All-Ireland club finals from Croke Park. A children’s disco will also be held while the matches are being shown.
Finally, the Blackrock parade will get underway at 1.30pm at Cocklehill and proceed along Main Street and up Sandy Lane, where it will disperse at the Community Centre.
The theme this year is “Coastal Carnival” so organisers the Blackrock Tourism and Development Group are looking to create a riot of colour and music along the main street for the parade.
This year’s grand master will be local postman Tom Gaskin (pictured above). There will also be a team of judges for the following float categories:
- Best Overall Float (based on the best Creative intrepation of theme)
- Best Impact Float(the largest numbers and physical size of Float )
- Best Creative Noise Float(making your own sound, think Carnival & Seaside)
- Best Colourful Float(think Seaside & Carnival)