29 May 2022

Long awaited return of Longford's St Patrick's Day Parade

Long awaited return of Longford's St Patrick's Day Parade

Fiach, Sinead, Saoirse, Pierce, Sadbh and Tiernan Hyland enjoying the 2019 Longford St Patrick's Day Parade. There was no parade for the past two years due to the pandemic Picture: Shelley Corcoran

The much-loved Longford St Patrick’s Day Parade returns on Thursday (March 17th) in what will be a fantastic celebration to mark the reopening of society.

The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Ar Ais Arís,’ and the event will form part of a wider St Patrick’s Festival with a series of music and cultural events due to take place across the county to mark the national holiday.

Over 70 floats are expected to participate, with 15 awards up for grabs. Prizegiving will take place at 3pm at Longford County Library.

The parade will be followed by a trad concert on the Market Square, and a pop-up art exhibition at 12 Main Street.

A brand new sensory area at Ballymahon Street, which is being organised in cooperation with Longford Autism Awareness, aims to provide a safe and comfortable space for children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the festivities. The sensory area will be a bright and colourful space, with seating and standing room, for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the parade without having to join the crowd.

Attendees will receive a pre-event schedule with locations and timings of when to expect the floats. Parade participants will be advised to lower their volume as their floats pass the sensory space.

A new viewing area for wheelchair users is also being set up near AIB on Main Street.

The Grand Marshals for this year’s parade will be Evelyn and Enda Neary of local charity Cian’s Kennels. The Killashee couple set up the charity in March 2020 in memory of their son Cian, who lost his battle with cancer at just 15 years old. Evelyn and Enda have recently begun work on their kennels at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin where Cian was treated, in a bid to bring sick children comfort by allowing their beloved family pets to be close by while they are in hospital.

The parade is proudly sponsored by Longford County Council and the main commercial sponsor is Mulleady Properties & Co. Ltd., who have previously supported the event before the onset of the pandemic.

Longford Chamber is asking Longford natives who are currently overseas to send a short video message to loved ones at home by emailing their clips to – a selection of messages will be shown at the review stand during the parade.

During tomorrow’s festivities, spectators are invited to join the conversation online by tagging Longford Chamber in their photos and posts and using the hashtag #ArAisAris

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