Plans are continuing at pace for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Longford town. Organisers have already confirmed a significant increase on entries from last year’s event, which was affected by the 1916 centenary parade which ran later in the year.
With Abbott Laboratories on board as the main sponsors and several of the local schools back involved this year, Longford Chamber of Commerce are hoping for a good family focussed event.
Meanwhile local traders are being encouraged to take part in the shop window display initiative this year.
As St Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, the Chamber feels there is a real commercial opportunity for the town this year.
Chamber CEO, Lisa Brady told the Leader: “We're putting a big push on getting traders and businesses to go green for the weekend this year. It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate but it would be great to see as many businesses as possible take part.”
There is also a special prize for the best display and Chamber Council member, Niamh Donlon has been out with traders, encouraging them to get involved.
He told the Leader: “The response has been very good and it will dovetail with the schools’ art competition as well.”
Whilst commercial entries are strongly encouraged in the parade, the Chamber is calling on local schools, community groups and organisations to get involved in the parade this year.
With the bank holiday on the Friday, many retailers and traders believe that it could be the busiest weekend in the county and town since Christmas.
Niamh Donlon added: “The parade and the shop window initiative are a great opportunity to put our best foot forward and show the town in a positive light.”
Meanwhile the decision to name local man, Michael Tighe as the grand marshal for the parade has been warmly welcomed by the local organisation for ex servicemen, Peter Keenan ONE Longford.
“The honour is thoroughly deserved for one of the branch’s longest serving members,” added a spokesperson.
“This is a great honour not alone for Michael but also for the Peter Keenan branch of ONE, whose members will once again lead this year’s parade.”
For more information on the parade and details on taking part, contact Lisa Brady, Chamber CEO on 087 778 6834.