The Filipino entry in the St Patrick’s Day Parade lit up the afternoon with its, colour and fun. They received spontaneous rounds of applause as they made their way along the route from MacDonagh Junction to the Castle.
For the children and the many visitors from overseas, the parage was magical and St Patrick himself was there (aka) Seamus Lawlor of the Nore Folk Museum).
The parade was led by Minnesota State Trooper, Sean Barta and Lady Desart (Marion Cantwell).
And immediately after the parade, the Castle Park was full for an afternoon of entertainment where teenage heart throb, Alan Hayes received a huge reception from the youngsters gathered while the huge drim and the Irish dancers alao proved very popular.
Overall it was a magnificent weekend with the Tradfest festival doing its but to bring thousands of revellers to the city.
The renacemnt of word War 1 with dray horse and cart was superb and there must have been a few blushes on the reviewing stands as the anti-pylon group walked past with a fantastic float with weather guru, Niall Dullard involved. The No Name Club gave out free pencils and the Newpark Close Family Resource centre celebrated 25 years in existence.
The martial arts group, Dragon’s lair was wonderful and Kilkenny Musical Society sang their hearts out promoting Michael Collins - the Musical.
And among the dignitaries was Mayor of Kilkenny, Minnesota who did not miss the fact that Dicksboro and O’Loughlin GAA clubs were next to each other. “Thank God the Village weren’t there,” he quipped.
There was also a bizarre float by Supermacs entitled “Not loving it.” It had a white rabbit attacking poor Ronald MacDonald. Has this anything to do with the success of MacDonald’s new drive-throu on the ring road. Surely not.
The celebration began on Friday night with open air gigs and the Parade Plaza were alive with music with this energetic performance, kicking off the festival.
Festival Manager, Marian Flannery said; “the change of route was super and the space on the parade transformed it into more of a family friendly event.”
The theme of the parade was “Past Present and Future” and the float prize winners were Kilkenny Special Olympics who were highly commended. The most creative entry went to – Filipino Group; best young persons O’Loughlin Gaels; best rural float Seamus Lawlor of the Nore Folk Museum, Bennettsbridge; most in keeping with the theme, Medieval Kilkenny.