Patrick’s festival to draw 80,000 visitors

The organisers of Cork’s St Patrick’s Day parade say it will be the biggest in the city’s history and expect a three-day festival, organised around the national holiday, will attract 80,000 visitors.

The festivities will get under way on Saturday, Mar 16, with live music from drumming sensations Torann, funk and soul from the Blue Jays, and blues from groove masters Souldriven.

On-street performers such as the renowned Galway- based Macnas group will bring their show The Inventor and the Cockroach to St Patrick’s St for the first time. They will be joined by international mime artists, jugglers, sword swallowers, and magicians.

Britain’s most extravagant balloon artist, along with colourful stilt walkers and acrobatics from Cork Circus will also join in the fun.

The annual parade will begin on the Sunday at 1pm and will be led by Grand Marshall, Edwin Lee, the mayor of San Francisco.

Puppeteers Dowtcha Puppets have been specially commissioned for the event and will weave their way through the city centre streets.

Cork Community Art Link’s water circuit machine will be accompanied on the route by elegant Corkonian gondolas, and a large Venus float with lavish live mermaids.

Cork Comhaltas, the Céilí Allstars, and premier jump jive swing band The Roaring Forties, will provide musical entertainment throughout the day on the main stage on St Patrick’s Street.

More live music from The Dustbusters, Ray Barron and Friends, and popular Waterford band The Jam Tarts, will follow on the Monday.

The streets will also be filled with street performers including mime artist Marcel So, renowned Dublin magician Jack Wise, and acrobatic and dance artists Sorcaluba.

Meanwhile, throughout the three days, 40 artisan and food stall will display their wares at Grand Parade and South Mall.

The festival will draw to a close in the afternoon with singer John Spillane performing on the main stage.

*For the full programme see www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie, corkstpatricksfestival, on Facebook, or on Twitter @corkpaddysfest.

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