Derry’s St Patrick’s Day carnival celebrations this year proved a massive hit as thousands gathered in the city centre to be wowed by a succession of colourful floats and troupes of dancers, including several themed around the Wizard Of Oz.
Wicked witches disco dancing, mythical figures on giant white elks and twirling Lollipop Kids which just some of the new additions who made their way through the city centre to a host of themed tunes and the beat of samba drums.
A fine mizzle just before the parade begun proved to be short-lived and the rain held off as participants of all ages wound their way along the yellow brick road from Queen’s Quay car park round by Quayside Medical Practice and up Strand Road towards the City Hotel and then back round.
Other highlights included a serene Asian-inspired ladies’ dancing troupe in different coloured kimonos, a gang of human robots getting down to Daft Punk’s ‘Around the World’ and the massive giant puppets towering above the parade at various intervals.
Thousands of people turned out in 40 shades of green, many sporting their shamrocks or St Paddy’s hats, lined the entire route of the parade, many hoisting their children up on their shoulders for a better view of the proceedings.
And the massive Foyle Pride flag was also unfurled for the occassion, adding another splash of colour to proceedings.
This year’s parade saw people of all backgrounds and walks of life from right across Derry get involved.
From Galliagh on the west bank to Strathfoyle in the east, months of preparations have gone in to getting costumes, floats, routines and puppets ready for the big day and all the hard work paid off as local people gave this year’s parade the big thumbs up.
And the celebrations were expected to carry on late into the night with a vast array of themed events and revelry planned to close out the annual carnival at indoor and outdoor venues across the city.