Two-day St Patrick’s festival for Ballinasloe

A Sunday parade is expected to be the highlight of the 2012 St Patrick’s Day weekend, which this year takes place over two days, March 17 and 18, in the town of Ballinasloe. Availing of the bank holiday, organisers have extended the 2012 event, with a heritage day taking place on Saturday March 17, followed by the main event, the parade, on Sunday 18.

With a total prize fund of over €3,000, organisers are hopeful that the community will come together to make it a weekend to remember. Categories this year include cultural, voluntary, sporting, educational, and commercial, with a special €600 prize fund for the best school in the parade, and a separate prize for marching bands.

This year’s theme for the parade is being left open, which organisers hope will make it more accessible for all business and community groups. The committee has especially called for participation in the best-dressed window competitions.

The inaugural St Patrick’s Heritage Day will see local businesses encouraged to create displays of days gone by outside their premises on Saturday March 17, and those interested in competing in this novel event should contact Damien Clarke at the Dunlo Tavern. Also on Saturday the live entertainment spot takes place in St Michael’s Square from 1pm, where many local acts will feature.

The committee are grateful for the generous sponsorship of Ballinasloe Town Council, Ballinasloe Vintners, Ballinasloe Chamber of Commerce, the Credit Union, Supermacs, AIB, and Gullane’s.

The parade will take place at 2pm on Sunday March 18, with those taking part being asked to assemble at the Fair Green at 1.30pm sharp. Those wishing to take part can still contact committee members Carmel Grealy on (090 ) 9643279, Nancy Cregg on (090 ) 9643497, or Johnny Walsh on (087 ) 997300.

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