Major celebrations for St Patrick’s Day

Gracie Arbuckle who danced her way through the carnival in Derry City Centre on St. Patrick's Day. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspiucs.com. 17.03.15
Gracie Arbuckle who danced her way through the carnival in Derry City Centre on St. Patrick's Day. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspiucs.com. 17.03.15

Derry’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations are to be expanded this year, it has been confirmed.

Derry City & Strabane District Council has revealed that the festival plans for Thursday, March 17, will continue on into the weekend.

Around 15,000 people attended the carnival parade during last year’s one-day celebrations and the council has said the feedback was “overwhelmingly positive.”

A new report brought before Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee on Tuesday confirmed that this year’s expanded programme will link in with the Legenderry Food Festival and The Ubuntu Global Festival among other themed events.

The theme for the St Patrick’s celebrations will be ‘Land of the Little People’ and the parade will feature more than 500 participants. The report also outlined plans for a 10,001 Leprechauns World Record Attempt in the city but it has since emerged that this will not now go ahead.

Events that will be going ahead, however, include ‘Laughs for Little People’, a programme of shows, film and arts activity for children and young people taking place in the Guildhall and Tower Museum, and ‘Little Folk Live on the Square’ - a live music event taking place in a festival marquee.

There will also be interactive walkabout street entertainers, oversized props and themed street furniture. Around £70,000 has been allocated for the festivities.

Backing the plans, chair of the Committee, Councillor Shauna Cusack, said they were “a fantastic piece of work, really exciting and family focused as well.”

DUP Councillor David Ramsey said the Apprentice Boys would attend a Church Service and hold a short parade in the city centre before the main festivities.