All systems go for St Patrick’s Day

The Athlone St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee have announced a full schedule of events for St Patrick’s Day this year, and now all they need are the people of Athlone to come out and support the events.

There is unquestionably something for everyone during the day’s festivities, which are sure to attract a large influx of visitors to the town this Wednesday.

In addition to the parade itself, the highlight will be music from the Abba Tribute Band, who will entertain the crowds in the civic square from 4-6pm, following the main event. A kids’ treasure hunt has also been organised to start from the civic square at 12 noon.

The parade itself will commence at 2.30pm from Heavins in Golden Island. All entries are asked to arrive by 1.45pm so the stewards can organise the order of entries.

Leading the parade will be the Army marchers. Highlights of the parade will include vintage cars, American trucks, dancers, jugglers, clowns, a Salsa band, Tonnta, hula dancers, and much, much more. All-Ireland champions the Ravens Marching Band will also take part.

The circus will be in town from March 17 to 21, and circus performers will add some extra flair and excitement to the parade.

Parents with young children are asked to keep them well back behind barriers as the floats are quite large this year. In addition, traffic is asked to avoid the town centre to Connaught Street from the night of Tuesday March 16.

Prizes will be given for the best parade entries, and there will also be a prize for the best dressed window.

According to the organising committee, the festivities can only be a success if enough groups take part. “We are calling on all traders and shop owners to enter the window display competition. We are asking all to dress up the town and make St Patrick’s Day a colourful day,” says committee member Helen McCaul.

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