Now that, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, was a terrific St Patrick’s Day celebration in Killarney with music on the streets, green ice-cream being devoured in record quantities, sing-songs in the pubs, joyous Cheltenham celebrations ringing out from the bookies and one of the best and most colourful parades the town has seen.
It started early and will continue until late and even the weather paid homage to St Patrick’s with the sun creeping out from behind the clouds as the busy parade wound its way, slowly but steadily, through the streets.
Marching bands from Killarney, Millstreet and the USA had hands clapping and toes tapping and the thousands of spectators that lined the streets were treated to some spectacular floats and several really quirky entries.
Grand Marshal Cathal Walshe, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne, Education Minister Norma Foley, Killarney Municipal District Manager Angela McAllen, MEP Seán Kelly and a number of other dignitaries got a grandstand view of the events of the day from the review stand on Main Street and they were treated to all the stunts and tricks that the participants had lined up.
There was no shortage of silverware on display with the particularly elaborate Fossa GAA Club entry showcasing the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Junior Championship trophies while Kilcummin Comhaltas also had several trophies to show off.
Performances that went down especially well with the visitors and locals on the packed streets included the hilarious Killarney Tidy Towns group, the Fiona Crowley Stage School, Raheen National School and Little Explorers Pre-school, Kerry Stars Special Olymnpics Club, Spa GAA, Scorchers Cheerleaders, the Ukrainian and African communities, Art House, Killarney Valley Vintage and Veteran Club and the aforementioned Fossa GAA.
The theme for his year’s parade was Killarney: Experience More which highlights the development of a new brand and logo for the town as part of the five-year Killarney Destination Experience Development Plan, launched in association with Fáilte Ireland.
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