Kilkenny City 2017

St Patrick’s Day Parade Slide Show

Damien Hogan


Damien Hogan


Admirers, critics, and even press photographers struggled to get up close and personal with the smug-looking ‘President Donald Trump’ who grinned imperiously from his seat in Kilkenny City's St Patrick’s Day parade.
His band of sunglasses-wearing ‘Secret Service’ agents kept shenanigans to a minimum, and ensured there would be no repeat of the infamous ham-sandwich-with-brown-sauce-throwing incident of St Patrick’s Day 2012, in which local dignitaries were targeted by an unidentified marksman passing City Hall.
‘The Don’ can be glad he did not meet the bearded and ebullient St Patrick, who had earlier wound his way through the Marble City’s streets as part of the Watergate Theatre’s display.
The streets were thronged with people well before the start time of 1pm, and it was certainly one of the largest parades the city has seen in some time. Despite forecasts predicting a washout, wet weather did not really materialise until later in the day — but spectators still had to contend with the cold.
Tying in with the Jonathan Swift theme, ‘Growing Patch Captures Gulliver’ float saw poor Lemuel attempting to escape his diminuitive tormentors, who had him bound by rope. Floats from Relay for Life, local GAA clubs, and other community groups and businesses were seriously impressive, waving to the crowds and showcasing the end result of countless hours of work in the weeks prior.
Our local Filipino community were also joyously represented by more than 30 participants, who defied the overcast day with their dancing, and brightly-coloured attire.
One of the more impressive floats – the giant Bui Bolg dragon – made an impressive finishing act, but perhaps could have been deployed earlier. He seemed to struggle to keep up along High Street, perhaps due to sheer size and some low-hanging bunting.
The fun continued well into the evening and the early hours, boosted by the many wonderful Tradfest events which took place over the weekend.
Chairman of the St Patrick's Day committee, local councillor Malcolm Noonan, lauded everyone involved in the organising and running of the day's events. He said feedback had been universally positive.
“To everyone who played their part and to the community groups who took part in the city's greatest-ever parade — we will rest, take stock and look on building on our success,” he said.
“We have the two essential ingredients to make it bigger and better next year; great people and lots of imagination.”