Grand Canal To Be Focus Of Tullamore St Patrick's Day Parade
Thursday, 16 March 2017
THE Grand Canal and Offaly waterways are to be the central focus of this year's St Patrick's Day parade in Tullamore on Friday morning next.
John Dolan, the Chairman of the Offaly branch of the Inland Waterways Association, has been chosen as Grand Marshall of this year's parade.
A special flotilla on the canal will ferry the Grand Marshall by boat from Boland's Lock to the jetty at the Tullamore DEW Visitor Centre, passing Whitehall Bridge at 10.45 am to arrive at the DEW Centre at 11.00 am on Friday morning.
The theme for this year's Parade is 'Offaly Waterways' and organisers are asking all groups to reflect this theme in their entry.
Explained Parade Secretary, Sean O'Brien: 'The Grand Canal has been flowing through Offaly for over 200 years and it has had a significant influence on the business, cultural, heritage and leisure life of the county and its towns.'
'This is an opportunity to celebrate this impact and this great facility and we hope that many more people will use the facility over the coming years.'
There is still time to enter the parade by calling Mr O' Brien on 086 3892854. The assembly point is the car park of the Bridge Centre and all entries should assemble by 10.30 a.m. at the latest. Commercial entries assemble in Kilcruttin, near the train station.
The Parade route is through High St., Bridge St., Colmcille St., over the Kilbeggan Bridge and onto Arden Road with the review Stand being located between the Tanyard Lane Bar and Mac's Cabs.
In keeping with the parade's theme, the famous Round House at Boland's Lock will be open to the public free of charge on Saturday, 18 March from 12.00 noon to 4.00 pm.
Meanwhile, it's all systems go for the St Patrick's Day parade in Clara which gets underway at 12.30 pm at Charlestown Bridge.
Prior to the parade there will be a concert in the Square starting at 11.30 am with music and dancing by a whole host of entertainers.
Loretta Newman is this year's Grand Marshal and she will be accompanied by the Queen of Clara, Caoimhe Nagle.
Two people will be honoured on the day for their contribution to Clara, Brendan Kenny and Jimmy Guinan.
Parade organiser, Bertie McMahon stressed: 'I would like to wish all the participants and viewers a happy and accident free St Patrick's Day. A special thanks to our sponsors and all who take part in the parade and concert especially you our viewers who every year make the parade a great success.'
Traffic restriction will be in operation in Clara from 11.30 am until 2.00 pm during the duration of the parade.
Im Kilcormac the St Patrick's Day parade, widely regarded as one of the best in the Midlands, will commence at 3.30 pm.
In neighbouring Mountbolus the parade kicks off at 11.00 am with registration from 10.15 am.
This year's categories have been extended to include vintage along with floats, environmental, schools and overall winner.
The parade is expected to be bigger and better than ever before with huge interest from new entrants.
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