Thousands are expected to line the streets of Ennis this coming Friday for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Ennis – A Multicultural Town’, which will see the town’s many cultures being reflected in floats and group activities.
Among the international visitors this year are groups from Langenfeld; Ennis’ German twinning partner, Russia and the UK.
Over forty groups will take part in this year’s parade which will kick off at Aras Contae an Chláir at 11am.
Administrative Office with Clare County Council, Anne Reynolds told Clare FM’s Morning Focus all about it:
Full Details Of The Parade:
Clare County Council is once again seeking to make the Ennis Parade a countywide affair with artistic, cultural and sporting groups together with schools, scouts and a range of community groups from all over Clare taking part.
In excess of 10,000 people lined the streets of town during last year’s parade, which featured 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare.
Once again, there will be an overall prize of €400 for the ‘Best Group or Float’ while all parade participants will be included in an open draw for one of four prizes of €150 each.
This year’s parade commences at 11.00am from Clare County Council’s Headquarters at Áras Contae an Chláir before proceeding via New Road, Newbridge Road, Club Bridge, Abbey Street, O’Connell Square, O’Connell Street, with participants finishing in the grounds of the Holy Family School, Station Road.
Following the Parade, the local Nigerian Society will host a showcase of Nigerian food, music and dance in Abbey Street Carpark.
The reviewing stand this year changes from The Height, O Connell St, to the end point of the parade at Ennis Cathedral in an effort to enhance the spectator experience by ensuring a continuous flow to the parade.
Two designated viewing areas are being made available again this year to enhance the spectators’ experience.
There will be a large designated viewing area along Newbridge road between Club Bridge and Steele’s Terrace.
This viewing area will afford perfect views of the parade and participants with the river and Club Bridge in the background.
The location is in close proximity to the Stage at Steele’s Terrace where live traditional music will be performed from around 10am.
Parking And Traffic:
The designated Disabled parking area is located at Ennis Courthouse, Lifford Road.
A Designated Disabled Viewing Area also will be established in O’Connell Square for disabled spectators for the duration of the parade.
Spaces will be limited so spectators wishing to avail of this facility should arrive early. Disabled parking will be available nearby in the Council’s car park at Friars Walk, Ennis.
Special traffic management arrangements will be in place from 8.00am. Diversions will be in place and pedestrian access will be available.
The roads being closed on a rolling basis include Steele’s Terrace / Newbridge Rd (from Kelly’s Corner roundabout to the Club Bridge), New Rd from its junction with Tulla Rd to Newbridge Rd, College Rd (local access only), Mill Rd in an easterly direction from the Maid of Erin Roundabout to its junction with Bindon St, Harmony Row, Abbey St, Francis St from Francis St Car Park to Abbey St, O’Connell Sq, O’Connell St, Upper O’Connell St, Old Barrack St and Station Rd from its junction with O’Connell St to its junction with Friar’s Walk.
Parade Grand Marshall:
Mayor of Ennis Cllr. Ann Norton is the Parade Grand Marshall for 2017 and will lead the Parade in a horse drawn carriage.
In a statement to Clare FM, she says “The Parade offers an opportunity to the people of Ennis and Clare to celebrate our multicultural community and how all of our lives have been enriched by the contributions of people from differing backgrounds, cultures and traditions. I look forward to joining the celebrations on the day”.