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Thousands to take part in parade

Thursday, 16th March, 2017 1:01am

Over 3,000 perfomers will entertain crowds in the city centre tomorrow, in what promises to be one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades ever seen on Leeside.

Up to 50,000 people from across Cork are expected to descend on the city’s streets to celebrate the national holiday and will be greeted by what the city council is calling “a carnival of colour and pageantry”.

Celebrity chef Rachel Allen will lead the procession when it takes off from the starting point on South Mall at 1pm.

The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Cork: A City of Community, Culture & Commerce’ and everyone taking part will be showcasing the best of all things Cork.

Street performers Macnas will be down from Galway with their 15-foot-high ‘Boy Explorer’, who will chase a butterfly through Cork and Waterford’s Spraoi will be represented by a Copperhead and a boat, a nod to West Cork’s copper-mining history.

Family favourites Dowtcha Puppets will also be there with a ‘Future Culture’ float and a giant Henry Ford puppet to celebrate 100 years of the Ford company in Cork.

Cork Community Artlink’s entry includes a series of floats such as the iconic ‘Mangans Clock’, a giant tree house and the old lady in the shoe and will feature groups such as the Cope Foundation, Enable Ireland, the National Learning Network, Fair Hill and Blackpool Glen Community Youth Training Centre, Shandon Shed Men’s Club and Artlink Drama Group.

The parade will make its way down South Mall, around Grand Parade and down St Patrick’s Street before concluding at Merchant’s Quay.

The Black Ash Park and Ride will be free tomorrow to ensure that you can into town with ease and the council is striving to ensure that everyone who comes along can enjoy the parade.

There will be sign language interpreter services for the parade available at a viewing stand in front of Carey’s Lane.

For any queries about disability access, you can call the city council on 021-4924344 or 021-4924042.

Meanwhile, parade organisers will be hoping for a continuation of the mild weather we’ve had recently and they might be in luck – Met Éireann says temperatures nationally could reach up to 17 degrees, as high as in sunny Greece, where they’re promised between 14 and 17 degrees for tomorrow.

Don’t break out the sun cream just yet, though! We may not be so lucky on Leeside as some rain and gusts of wind of over 40km are predicted for the south of the country.

A drop of rain is unlikely to dampen Rebel spirits and there’s a whole host of events planned across the city to keep the festivities going over the weekend.

Local photographer Paul Carroll will present Gaelic Fields, a talk about his photographs of GAA fields across the country, at City Hall on Saturday at 2pm; while there’s a Pop Up Patrick’s Festival in Emmet Place from 10am to 5pm on the same day.

Sunday will see the St Patrick’s Hill Ball Run on the city’s most famous hill at 2pm and the Lee Sessions Trad Trail will take place in pubs around the city centre throughout the weekend.

For more information on festivities in the city, visit Corkstpatricksfestival.ie

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