The preparations for the St Patrick’s Day parades are well underway across the county. The county town will see its parade take place a day early this year due to Castlebar Mitchels involvement in the All Ireland Club Final in Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.
The parades in the other two major towns in the county are also well into their planning, with the Westport parade kicking off at 1.30pm on St Patrick’s Day and this year’s theme for the parade is ‘Smarter Travel - The Only Way Forward’. The parade will feature the Westport town band, the Clewbay Pipe Band, the Ardinariff Flute Band from Limavady, and the Bagad Band from Plougastel in France. Any school, business or voluntary group that wishes to take part in the parade is asked to register with Westport Town Council on 098 50400 as soon as possible.
In Ballina the build-up to the events on St Patrick’s weekend are well under way with a festival of fun planned in the north Mayo town, with plans in motion to turn the town green for the day. The cathedral and the modern Salmon Weir Bridge will both undergo an emerald transformation this year and it is expected that many shops and businesses will add to the spectacle by swapping regular light bulbs for green ones and decorating their windows in the green theme for the weekend’s festivities.
The Salmon Weir Bridge will be an impressive stage for the fantastic fireworks display planned for Sunday March 16, at 8pm and will delight all, especially the young who love the colour and noise of the sparklers and rockets.
The annual parade this year is being held on Sunday March 16 day getting underway at 4.30pm and is set to be a dazzling and diverse display of music, talent and creativity from the town and its surrounds. Anyone wishing to take part in the parade can register their interest with Matt Farrell on 087 261 7167 or Ann Bain on 087 2394529 before March 10. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Saturday March 15 will see the Ballina Athletics Club hosting a fun, 5k event in Belleek at 12pm, or you can experience a delightful boat trip from the Quay between 12pm and 4pm.