St Patrick’s Day plans in full swing

March 17 is nearly upon us again, and the St Patrick’s Day Committee is once again calling on residents and business owners in Athlone to get involved.

This year the theme is ‘World Culture’, and there is a €500 prize to the group or organisation that incorporates the theme best. As always new groups are encouraged to enter.

Despite inclement weather, last year’s parade had a great atmsophere and drew an amazing crowd. The whole event was also live streamed on Facebook, where it was watched by 12,000 people all around the world.

Derry Mc Mahon from Athlone Sub Aqua played the role of Grand Marshall last year. This year Athlone Special Olympics athlete, Heather Dickson, will be leading the parade along with Junior Marshall, Scott Lowe, who recently donated bone marrow to a little girl in need.

Once again, activities before the parade are split between three areas. Burgess Park will host the family area; the Civic Square will host the display area; and the area behind the castle will be the entertainment area. Weather permitting, a duck race will also be held on the river.

Westmeath County Council funds the St Patrick’s Day Committee, but donations are still needed to create the festival that Athlone deserves. To that end, the committee is looking for individual and corporate sponsors to help them reach their goal again this year.

Any donation, big or small, helps out and goes towards making this year’s parade the best yet. The committee has a Go Fund me page set up or people can contact them directly to make a donation. All sponsors will get full recognition for their support.

The parade kicks off at 2pm on March 17.

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