Bristol city centre is turning green this Sunday as the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade gets underway – with support from a £10,000 cash injection from Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
Mayor Norris will join Lord Mayor Cllr Paula O’Rourke as well as dance troupes and marching pipe bands in leading the green and gold coloured parade starting at Old Market and making its way to St Nicholas Market (this Sunday at 12.30pm, Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, St Jude’s, Bristol BS2 0NW).
The “big celebration” will include over 20 floats and performances from six dance schools, live music and street performers from communities right across the city, and the West of England. 10,000 Bristolians are expected to don green and join the annual procession this year.
It marks the culmination of a festival of 35 separate events celebrating Irish culture that have been taking place in and around Bristol this week organised by the West of England Irish Community Interest Company.
Bristol has a long history of Irish emigration and a charter penned in 1171 even grants Bristolians the right to live in Dublin – and it has never been officially repealed!
The parade is part of many celebrations taking place across the city to celebrate Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris says the point of the parade was not just to honour Saint Patrick, but to celebrate Ireland’s influence on the city, and engage Bristol’s Irish community. He said: “Bristol has a thousand-year-old connection with Ireland. We have unique heritage and community ties – from running successful businesses, to the huge influence on our world-leading arts and cultural scene, Irish Bristolians have been, and are, integral to the fabric of this extraordinary city. And Bristol was the first place in England to receive Guinness direct from Dublin – a great claim to fame! I’m proud that a £10,000 grant from my West of England Mayoral Combined Authority is helping fund this vital festival celebrating the richness of Irish culture and heritage, culminating with this wonderful parade in the city centre, and with events happening right across the city, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.”
After the parade, there’s a choice of two parties. One is a free event at St Nick’s Market glass arcade, which will feature 12 acts performing. The other is ticketed, seated event with bands, dancers and musicians at Revolution Bar. For more information, visit: https://weirish.org.uk/festival/