Though we traditionally honour our Patron Saint on March 17, this year, Longford’s celebrations will focus on St Patrick’s nephew, St Mel.
Plans are afoot for The Abbott St Patrick’s Day parade in Longford town, where St Mel will be celebrated, marking the re-opening of St Mel’s Cathedral and the 150th anniversary of St Mel’s College.
With this theme in mind, the parade will be led by Bishop Emeritus of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, Colm O’Reilly.
Kicking off at the new time of 1pm, the parade will take the usual route, starting from the Battery Road and travelling through town.
On the day, the Review Stand will be situated on Main Street, with the National Anthem being performed by Dermot Deeley.
As in previous years, there will be numerous prizes up for grabs for participants in the parade. The fourteen categories include; Best Dressed Individual (sponsored by Unique Boutique), Oustanding Service (the Hugh Shannon Memorial Cup), Best School Entry (Glennon Bros), Best Environmental Winner (Mulleady’s Waste Recycling), Best New Entry (Hair Square), Best Window Display (Conradh na Gaeilge), Best Community Entry (Longford Shopping Centre), the Youth Endeavour Award (Longford Leader), Best Club Association (Berney Crossan & sons), Best Non-commercial Award (Supermacs), Best Public Service (Stenson’s Chemist) and Best Commercial Entry, Most Colourful Entry and Best Overall Winner, all sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The annual Meteor colouring competition will also make a welcome return, as well as the Spirit of the Parade award.
The presentation of prizes will take place in the Longford Arms Hotel, room 8 at 3pm, followed by music in the bar.