Once again Main Street Carrickmacross was filled with thousands eager to enjoy the Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Over 50 colourful groups and organisations took part in the parade this year to which Carrickmacross was blessed with a crisp, dry day! The Carrickmacross Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoirí warmed the crowd up prior to the Parade by playing a selection of traditional tunes which are always guaranteed to entertain.
True to tradition, the Parade was lead by the 3rd Monaghan C.B.S.I. who marched in impressive formation through the town. The beaver section displayed some of their creativity in the form of a colourful dragon. In pursuit the ventures exhibited some of their camping skills and equipment on a large float. Then followed the Steadfast Brass Band who had also played beautifully at the flag raising earlier that morning at the Courthouse and picked up one of the prizes in the parade! The local Councillors joined dignitaries on the reviewing stand, while Mr. David O’Rourke did a magnificent job as M.C. announcing all the participants as they passed the reviewing stand.
As ever, the local primary schools made huge efforts on the day, arriving in colourful costumes with St. Joseph’s Boys National School all marching colourfully dressed as Wolly from the “Where’s Wolly?” books, while Scoil Rois aptly commemorated the doomed “Titanic” which scooped them 1st prize as the best float in the parade. This year the town was delighted to have a number of new groups joining the parade, in particular Word International Ministries who danced their way up Main Street in beautiful flowing costumes whilst playing tambourines. The Carrickmacross Festival Committee also entertained the lines of spectators playing live music and singing as festive characters! Some of our walking groups included The 6th Monaghan Scouts Group from Killanny/Inniskeen, the Aces Athletic Club, the Town Twinning Association, Friends of Lough Derg, Stedfast House, the Housewives Club and the Cycling Club.
The Vintage Section is a big part of the Parade each year and there were magnificent displays from Lisdoonan, Carrickmacross and Muff Vintage Clubs. Other vintage vehicles included J.J. Cunningham, Pat Kerr and Sons, Bernard Maguire, and Brian Oliver. Commercial Floats included McConnons Recovery, Komandor, Toal Auctioneers, Supervalue, Vanity Nightclub, Crazy Trailor, “Something Old, Something New” and Oasis Landscaping. While Cabra Castle’s illuminated float filled with Shrek characters won 2nd prize in the best float.
The crowds were also delighted to hear music from the Corduff Pipers, the Aughnamullen East Pipe Band, St. Mary’s Brass Band, Kingscourt and of course An Lochrann Linn Band who received Best Band prize. As always all the bands provided great entertainment and colour to the parade.
Well done to all the bands and organisations that participated, their contribution to the Parade was appreciated by all. We look forward to seeing you all back again in Carrickmacross in 2013.
Seachtain na Gaeilge – Fuinneog Álainn – Best Shop window was won by The Wedding Gallery, O’Neill Street 2nd place went to Ronaghan’s Opticians, Main Street with 3rd place going to Gifts n’ Things, Main Street. Well done to all the shops that participated. The standard was exceptional as ever.
The St. Patrick’s Day Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the Parade, the Garda Síochána, the Town Council Staff, David O’Rourke, Seamus McEneaney from ‘The Fiddler’s Elbow’ sponsors of best band, Cloughvalley Stores sponsors of best float and everyone that came to watch the Parade.