Over 27,000 attended St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Stilt walkers Audrey Doherty (Brigid), Michael Johnston (St. Patrick) and Sorcha Shanaghan (Suffragette) who featured in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. DER1118-129KM
Stilt walkers Audrey Doherty (Brigid), Michael Johnston (St. Patrick) and Sorcha Shanaghan (Suffragette) who featured in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. DER1118-129KM

Over 27,000 people attended this year’s St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival in Derry.

And hotels in the city averaged over 83 percent total occupancy over the St Patrick’s Day weekend.

That exceeded the Derry City and Strabane District Council target of 80 percent across the three nights of Friday to Sunday, March 16 to 18.

Hotel occupancy in the city reached 82 percent on Friday, rising to 92 percent on St Patrick’s Day, falling to 76 percent on Sunday

The council’s head of culture reported that over 27,000 took part in the St Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade, the LegenDerry Food Festival and the Ubuntu Global Festival over the weekend.

“Over the last number of years festival programming has aimed to encourage family-friendly activity, enhance participation from across the city and increase visitor numbers,” he said.

“Central to this has been the development and delivery of community-based carnival programmes and partnerships with leading carnival arts organisations. In 2018 this partnership worked very well and the new exciting city centre route proved very popular with participants, attendees and businesses.

The council says the new route for its main St Patrick’s Day parade proved ‘extremely popular’ with 20,000 spectators on the streets, the highest ever, well above the target audience of 12,000.

In its marketing evaluation report to the council’s business and culture committee, the council says:

“The campaign was very successful overall and most of the key objectives exceeded their targets.

“The new parade route worked extremely well.

“We were able to capture images showing the scale and diversity of the event and Shipquay Gate was a great vantage point for media.”

The overall cost of the St Patrick’s Day festival this year was £116,000, which included £25,000 from Good Relations to support the Ubuntu Festival.