It's all over now for another year but there is no doubt that St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in style in Kinsale this year! Festivities to mark our National Holiday commenced on Monday evening on the Pier Head where community choirs entertained the crowds gathering for the 4th annual Maritime Parade. A flame thrower enthralled children on land while the daredevil Thundercats provided entertainment on the water. St. Patrick arrived by sea courtesy of Kinsale & Dock Rowing Club. The highlight of the evening was the sight of beautifully lit boats of all sizes sailing into the harbour and a magnificent fireworks display, one of the finest Kinsale has ever seen.
St. Patrick's Day itself dawned bright and sunny. Following the blessing of the Shamrock at the Parish Church, which was attended by Grand Marshal for the Parade, Brian Graham, and Fred Treacy, Chairman of the Kinsale St. Patrick's Day committee, a Ceili was held at Emmet Place. Great fun was had by locals and visitors alike who joined in the dancing! Meanwhile in the Tourist Office a presentation was made to the winner of the Children's Art competition, Ellie Mai Dyer, by Tomas O'Brien, Chairman of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism & Business.
Free face painting and balloons for children and busking on the streets provided a festive atmosphere in town, leading up to the main event, the Street Parade at 4pm.
Over 50 entries ensured a colourful, imaginative and fun Parade meandered through the streets from the New Road to the Pier Head. Brian Graham, a stalwart of Kinsale Chamber of Tourism and Kinsale Tidy Towns committee, was Grand Marshal for the event, a well-deserved honour for the tireless work he has done for Kinsale over 5 decades.
So many groups put fantastic thought and effort into their floats. We will publish a list of the prize winners when available but everyone deserved a prize on the day for their efforts! In addition to the entrants and committee, so many members of the community were involved in various ways from fund-raising, judging, hanging flags/bunting and a whole lot more! Of course huge thanks also to businesses and individuals who provided sponsorship for both Parades, without this sponsorship the events could not take place.
We could not let any article about the Parade go without mentioning the late Eileen Murphy, who was a leading light in the Parade committee since its revival in 2012. The inaugural Spirit of Kinsale Award, in memory of Eileen, was fittingly presented to Kinsale GAA for their Minecraft float.
Pic: John Allen