ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN WICKLOW! st-patricks-day1 Tomorrow the entire county will be awash with green as Wicklow celebrates another St Patrick's Day. The celebration of our patron saint on Thursday, 17th March promises to be a spectacular affair in Co Wicklow this year with parades in all of the main towns, festivities, fun fairs, family fun and much more.

Bray
The parade in Bray is one of the largest on the east coast and 20,000 people are expected to line the route starting at the Town Hall moving down the Main Street and on to the Seafront. 'Celebrating Now' is the theme of this year's parade and upwards of 50 groups from many different backgrounds have been working on their entries over the past few months and all will be ready to show off their hard work to the huge crowds.
"The Committee have put in a huge amount of effort planning over the past months. Everyone is really looking forward to the Festival and the parade. The amount of participants and visiting groups is well up on previous years and we have seen a great deal of effort in their entries.
"It is one of the best community events of the year and we are really looking forward to seeing what they have to offer", commented President of Bray Chamber Mick Glynn.
Bray welcomes many of the visiting bands from California, Ohio, Croatia and the UK. Watch the creations from Signal Arts, the collaboration of the award winning street performers Artastic and the Mermaid Arts Centre, display their elements of the theme.
"It is our pleasure to have Niall Benson from Ardmore Rovers, this year's Bray Person of the year, who is at the forefront of the community, as our Parade Grand Marshall. Niall has been involved with Ardmore Rovers for over 20 years. All groups will get to show off their talents to the crowd as well as the judging panel of local dignitaries."
The Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District, Cllr Brendan Thornhill, wishes everyone a happy Patrick's Day. "This is a special day in the Irish calendar," said Cllr Thornhill. "It is a great opportunity to get out and showcase our national identity. This is an occasion to showcase what a great community we have and that we can work together for the betterment of Bray.
"There are a great variety of events organised by the Bray Chamber. These vary from a fun fair for all, ceol & craic at the bandstand on the seafront, a Bray Head walk and a big Fun Day at the Civic Plaza, and also a display of vintage cars.
"A full list of these events can be found in the Bray Chamber brochure. This year there is an addition to the parade; the Peace Run International team will be in Ireland. This event is promoted world wide and is an exercise to promote world peace. Previous people who have been associated with the Peace Run were such dignitaries as Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Olympic athlete Carl Lewis and Sonia O'Sullivan. "I would exhort everyone to get out and promote this event. To find out more go to www.peacerun.org/ie. I am looking forward to what should be a great St. Patrick's week."

Greystones
This year's St. Patrick's Day Parade will be bigger and better than previous years with your help and continued support. Groups should gather at the Park & Ride carpark at 11.30am. The Parade will commence at 12pm and follow a route through South Beach to Church Road to the Cinema to the reviewing stand at the Church of Ireland at Church Road.
Plaques will be awarded at a later date in the following categories; Most Original Entry; Most Colourful Entry; Best Uniformed Organisation; Best Traditional Irish Entry; Most Topical Entry; Most Entertaining Entry; Best Social/Cultural Entry; Best Sports Entry; Best Commercial Entry; Best Musical Entry and Overall Parade Winner.
Further enquiries can be directed to Kay Coughlan at 01 2876694.

Newtownmountkennedy
The St Patrick's Day Parade in Newtownmountkennedy will begin at 11am with participants gathering at 10.30am. It will depart from Gregory's Garage/Men's Shed, through Killadreenan, make its way into the village, down the Main Street and back to the reviewing stand at The Townhouse/Druid's Well.
The Newtown parade will be a community parade rather than a commercial parade and the focus will be on local community groups and sport clubs. The organizers hope that people will come from surrounding areas as well to enjoy the festivities. Various prizes will be awarded for floats and marchers including a prize for Best Shop Window.
For further information contact Ann Duffy on 01 2819716.
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Wicklow Town
The parade in Wicklow Town sets off from Whitegates at 3.15pm and finishes at Market Square. The Review Stand will be at Market Square. Grand Marshall will be Eileen Earls, Chairperson of Wicklow Cancer Support. The theme for this year's parade is 'A Century of Celebrating Ireland'. The Parade is proudly sponsored by local vintners and businesses.
The Parade will feature the St Patrick's Pipe Band, the Aughrim Pipe Band and The Parnell Memorial Band. There will be prizes for Best Float, Best Club Entry, Best Dressed Window, Best School Entry and many more. For further information contact Stephen Morley on 087 3647334.


Arklow
Arklow's St Patrick's Day Parade will begin at 3pm at yellow Lane. Floats are asked to assemble at Yellow Lane at 1.3pm and marching groups at Mellows Avenue at 2.30pm. Grand Marshall on the day will be Mary O'Brien representing Arklow Cancer Support.
Due to health and safety concerns people are asked to refrain from throwing sweets or any other objects from the floats.
The organizers of the Arklow St Patrick's Day Parade promise a day of fun and they hope everyone will come out to support the parade as it makes it s way through the town. Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories including; best Float; Bets Commercial and Non Commercial Group; Best Marching Group; Best Traditional Group; Most Entertaining; Best Agriculture and Horticulture; Most Topical; Best Vintage; Best Youth; Best Uniform Group and Best Shop Window.
Anybody with queries can contact Jimmy Russell on 087 6333621.

Rathdrum
Rathdrum Saint Patrick Day Parade will start at 12pm from Avon Motors Car Centre Rathdrum and will continue down the main street of Rathdrum pass the Review Stand. The Grand Marshal for the Rathdrum Saint Patrick Day Parade is Leo O' Brien from Rathdrum who won a Silver Medal in the Special Olympics World Games in L.A last year. There will be prizes for 1st and 2nd prize category winners , Best Commerical, Best Juvenile effort, Most Topical, Best Marching Group, Best Community float, Best Club, Best Vintage, Best Float. Also there is €200.00 for the best 1916 float in the Rathdrum Saint Patrick Day Parade.
The parade has being running for the last 27 years. This year will see over €800 in prize money. The chairman of the Rathdrum Parade Committee Jimmy O' Shaughnessy is calling on all sports groups and community groups to come out on the day and make the parade as successful as it has being in the past over the past 27 years. He said the Rathdrum community groups have made this parade the success it has been.

Carnew St. Patrick's Day Parade - 'For the Community, By the Community'.
The annual Carnew St. Patrick's Day Parade takes place on Thursday 17th March at the new time of 1pm. The parade has gone from strength to strength since it began and once again promises to be an enjoyable family event this year. The parade begins at Kenny's Corner House and travels down the town with commentary points at two places on the Main Street to keep the audiences informed and entertained. The Grand Marshall is community stalwart and local business woman, Mrs. Lizzie Kennedy.
Parade categories include: Best Overall Float, Most Entertaining, Most Topical, Best Youth Entry, Best Walking Group and Best Window Display. And for the year that is in it, there is an extra category this year with a prize for the Best 1916 Themed Float.

Aughrim
The Aughrim St. Patrick's Day parade starts from Tinakilly Bridge at 11:30am. It will proceed down the Main St to the Pavillion where it will end and where tea and coffee will be served. There will also be live music provided by AN Comhaltas and Irish dancing. There will be car parking all morning behind the Pavillion. Prizes will be awarded for Best Walking Group, Best Float, Best Vintage Car, Best Vintage Tractor and Best Shop Front.
At 9pm the prizegiving will take place in Joe OT'oole's pub where there will also be a raffle. At the time of going to press, the Grand Marshal for the parade had yet to be decided.
Application forms for the parade are available from Neil Gallagher at the Pharmacy (040236655 / 0867334751).

Baltinglass
This year's Baltinglass St Patrick's Day Parade will depart from Lathaleere at 12.30pm to Edward Street. The Parade offers a great opportunity for local and regional business to promote their activities. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories; Best business/commercial float; Best walking sports club; Best community/society float; Best crèche/pre school float; Best vintage vehicle; Best 1916 themed float or walking group; Best window display.