Greatest of shows planned for St Patrick's Day in Kerry

Abbeydorney NS held its own St Patrick’s Day Parade in the North Kerry Village. The school enjoyed a day of fun as locals stopped to enjoy the parade and cheer on the pupils. Pictures: Domnick Walsh

Killarney: The Killarney St Patrick’s Day parade promises to be ‘The Greatest Show’ with a showstopping circus theme. The parade, which starts at 2pm, is part of a now week-long festival. Landmarks such as Ross Castle glimpsed from Flesk Bridge and St Mary’s Cathedral will turn green for several days.

Tralee: The parade will kick-off just before noon tomorrow. It will be led by not one but two Grand Marshals. Ryan Kelliher, 8, a boy with muscular dystrophy will join the executive chair of the Rose of Tralee International Festival, Anthony O’Gara, as the Junior and Senior Grand Marshals. Organiser Johnny Wall says there will be 60 floats and groups taking part. He has kept it community-based and this year, as well as celebrating the 60 years of the Rose of Tralee, there is sure to be a medieval theme in the history-proud capital of Kerry. A number of road closure will be in place from 10.30am and motorists and pedestrians are requested to follow the guidance of the volunteer stewards.

Kenmare’s parade is moving to Sneem, and the joint parade will take place at noon. The aptly named Patrick Connor-Scarteen, Kenmare councillor, explained the move by saying: “Sneem people shop and socialise in Kenmare and there is a long long association between the two. So it’s a way of giving something back.” Sneem, he added, with its two squares and bridge, is ideal for a colourful parade with marching bands.

Caherciveen: The principal town of Iveragh knows how to throw a St Patrick’s Day party. It kicks-off from Fertha Drive at 3pm on the Valentia side of town and marches through the long street right up to te green Carneige building, which is a community centre. There is €1,000 prize money available for the best floats and contributions so they are sure to be good.

Killorglin: The parade starts at 1pm sharp at The Fishery Cafe & Restaurant.

Pupils of Abbeydorney National School line out for their St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Castlemaine: The home of the wild Colonial Boy, Castlemaine, has attracted fantastic support over the previous six years from both near and far. Starting at Flynn’s Yard, at 11.30am, the parade will be led by Lord Mayor of Castlemaine Mike Flynn and The Killorglin & District Pipe Band. There will be free children’s entertainment including bouncy castles, face-painting, puppet-show and a magic show in the centre of Castlemaine village from 10.30am.There will also be live music throughout the day.

Milltown: Milltown is the fastest growing town in Kerry and so is its parade: They are early risers in this town which lies in the triangle of Killorglin, Tralee and Killarney. The parade begins at 10am and will feature bodhráns in deference to the musical traditions of the area, as well as pre-historic themes reflecting the region’s ancient sites. MC this year is local man and historian Owen O’Shea.

Listowel: The parade begins between 12.30pm and 1pm, after Mass. Local councillor Jimmy Moloney, who has been a key figure in its Tidy Towns win, says a large group of Tidy Town volounteers will be leading the parade this year in honour of their remarkable achievement and years of hard work.

Ballybunion: The beautiful seaside town has one of the most colourful posters anywhere on its tourist office website and window. The parade will be at 3pm and it is sure to be a mix of surf and turf. Clubs, societies, musical groups and local soccer clubs like the blue and yellow LB Rovers will start to assemble at 2pm at the Church Car park where the parade starts and finishes.

Rathmore: In keeping with tradition, this corner to the west of Dingle will be up earlier than anyone else. The “real” Dingle parade will take place at 6am under cover of darkness and will be followed later in the day with a street parade in full light. The pre-dawn Dingle Fife and Drum parade is an echo of times when parades were banned during daylight.

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