12,000 attend Derry’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations

Some of the Lollipop Kids and Lullaby League from the Wizard of Oz section of the parade.
Some of the Lollipop Kids and Lullaby League from the Wizard of Oz section of the parade.

Record numbers of over 12,000 people enjoyed Derry City Council’s annual St Patrick’s celebrations yesterday, which attracted visitors from as far away as the US and Australia who joined the locals for a Spring Carnival extravaganza in honour of the patron saint.

The streets of Derry were a sea of green as thousands turned out to celebrate a Kaleidoscope of Culture and colour as the Curious Carnival made its way through the city centre.

The Mayor, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, was there to launch the festivities which featured hundreds of local children who danced, sang and played their way along the traditional carnival route.

Speaking after the event Mayor Stevenson thanked all those who played a part in making the day such a success. “We are delighted to have been able to welcome so many people to the city over what is always one of the most popular celebrations of the year,” she said.

“The talent and energy on display today has been extremely impressive, and it’s been lovely to see so many families out celebrating together. This year the events were streamed live online for the first time capturing the fun friendly atmosphere, so loved ones from across the globe could enjoy a glimpse of home. I would like to thank Council’s events team and everyone who took part in the celebrations today, and what has been another successful event in profiling our beautiful city.

“As well as the main carnival parade there was plenty of activity around the city centre throughout the afternoon, with the Big Dig transforming the Guildhall Square into an archaeological treasure trove, and the Mayor’s Family Fun Day keeping the children entertained. There was also live music and traditional dancing at a number of locations throughout the city.”

Derry City Council have said that more major events for the city are lined up in the coming months.

A spokesperson said:

“Following on from the huge success of the St Patrick’s Day Festival, the city will be gearing up for a whole host of activities and events in the coming months, beginning with the Pan Celtic Festival of music taking place from April 7-12, followed by the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival which takes over the city from April 30 – May 4, headlined by Jamie Cullum.”