Sanctuary Runners Nomathemba Macala, Sharin Pillay, Esmeraldo Tavares and Angela Flynn and the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Deirdre Forde in Elizabeth Fort at the launch of the Cork St Patrick’s Festival. Photo: Darragh Kane

Cork’s biggest parade yet!

It’s official! This year’s Cork St Patrick’s Day Parade will the biggest the city has ever seen with over 3,500 participants from Leeside and beyond.

Kicking off at 1pm tomorrow, Friday, the parade will feature members of communities from all walks of life across the city, with some very special guests from overseas too.

Cork City Council Events Manager Trish Murphy said there is an extra sense of celebration this year, helped of course by that special Friday feeling.

“There will be brilliant colour and activity on the streets. We'd encourage people to make it a family occasion and to get in early if you can!” Trish told the Cork Independent.

This year, organisers have chosen ‘A Century of Stories’ as the parade’s theme to reflect the last phase of the Decade of Centenaries programme.

As ever, this year’s parade will celebrate all Cork people from all walks of life across the city, from sporting groups to dance schools, new communities, our long-established brass bands, and special guests from around the world. One of these special guests is the 350 strong Gator Marching Band which is coming to Cork for the first time all the way from the University of Florida.

“350 members and their families! It's very impressive. We're delighted, and we have a couple of American bands. They'll add huge colour and energy to the parade this year, it's another flavour - another taste of what's going on, which is incredible - it's really cool,” said Trish.

Last year, organisers had prepared for an alternative Cork St Patrick's Festival due to lingering Covid-19 restrictions, however, when all restrictions were lifted in late January, they managed to pull off a full return of the parade with close to 2,500 participants, despite the very short lead-up.

This year, with no travel restrictions in place, Cork Airport says it expects to welcome over 43,000 passengers over coming weekend. To mark the occasion, the airport will host 12 groups of local musicians, dancers, and singers to welcome arrivals with a true taste of Irish entertainment.

“We hope the feast of traditional music will add extra flavour and joy to the passenger travel experience,” said Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy.

Interestingly, for those who enjoy a nice pint on Paddy’s Day, Cork has faired relatively well in a recent number crunching survey by the money experts at ABC Finance. When it comes to the price of a beer in restaurants, overall Limerick had the cheapest beer on tap at € 5.10, followed by Galway and Cork at €5.50. Unsurprisingly, Dublin had the most expensive beer with €6.00 being the cheapest available.

When comparing market beer prices to restaurant prices in the 4 cities, Cork had the smallest markup at 93.66%, whereas Dublin had the highest at 118.18%.

For those unable to attend the parade in person, a live stream will be available from 12.45pm at