Roll up, roll up for the greatest show on Earth

Greatest show on earth: All set for the celebrations were Gretta Turner (Marylin Monroe), President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Niall Kelleher, Malachy Kelly (Uncle Sam), John Ahern, Killarney Municipal District Engineer John Ahern, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Marie Moloeny, Katy Jacobi, Events Manager, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Diarmuid Leen, Chairman 4th July Festival, Noel Kennelly, Heineken Ireland and Tony Moore, Master of Ceremonies.
Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan

A spectacular parade, with marching bands, striking custom-built floats, baton-twirling cheerleaders, colourful movie characters and leather clad bikers, will be the highlight of this year’s Killarney 4th July celebrations which will make a welcome return, in some style, following a two-year interruption.

Main Street in Killarney will take on a Disney-like magic for a day and night of celebrations to mark the town’s special centuries-old link with America.

Thousands of visitors from Stateside choose Killarney as their favourite holiday destination every year and this is the town’s way of giving something back to mark the big US occasion.

“Just as our American friends celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style, we will do likewise to mark their Independence Day,” said 4th July Festival Chairman Diarmuid Leen.

“We are inviting everybody to come and celebrate with us and to do so in style,” he added.

The festivities on Monday, July 4th will get underway with the formal raising of the American Flag at the town hall with the Mayor of Killarney and the President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce presiding.

The Statue of Liberty will keep a close watch over Main Street with face-painters and street entertainers roaming the town while Killarney will be turned into Hollywood for a few glorious hours with everybody from Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Bonnie and Clyde, The Greatest Showman’s Bearded Lady and even a posse of fun-loving cowboys on the loose.

Big bands and top quality singers will perform throughout the town all afternoon while a fun-filled street party will get into full swing with street fireworks and flame-throwers ready to light up the sky.

Katy Jacobi, Events Manager, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Events Manager, Diarmuid Leen, Chairman 4th July Celebrations, Noel Kennelly, Heineken Ireland enjoy watching the festival characters preparing for the big event

Thousands of people, many waving American flags, will line the streets of the town for the big parade, commencing at 7.00pm, and that will be followed by a lively hour-long Beat on the Street from 8.00pm.

Ireland’s multi-award winning soul performer Buck Taylor will entertain the masses at the Soul in the Park from 9.00pm and at 10 o’clock the celebrations will conclude in a fabulous fashion with an open air screening of the hit movie The Greatest Showman on the lawns of Killarney House and Gardens.

The Killarney 4th July celebration is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce with great support from Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland as well as sponsors Heineken.

Tickets for the open air events on the lawns of Killarney House and Gardens – including the Soul in the Park and the big screen production of The Greatest Showman – will be free of charge and available on Eventbrite.ie from June 20. The gates will open at 8.30pm.

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