Once again Main Street Carrickmacross was filled with thousands eager to enjoy the Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Over 60 colourful groups and organisations took part in the parade this year, which everyone enjoyed despite a few drops of rain here and there! 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. In pursuit the Steadfast Brass Band, who had also played beautifully at the flag raising earlier that morning at the Courthouse, marched proudly behind and also managed to pick up one of the prizes in the parade! The local Councillors joined dignitaries on the reviewing stand, while our Mayor Matt Carthy impressed us all with the magnificent job he did 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, each with their own theme. St. Joseph’s Boys National School won 1st prize for the best float with their impressive display of yellow faced “Mignons” from the movie “Despicable Me”. Scoil Rois looked fierce as they commemorated Brian Boru and the Vikings, while Bunscoil Lughaidh Naofa brightened the parade beautifully dressed as spring flowers newly in bloom!
This year the town was delighted to have a number of new groups joining the parade, in particular “Showbiz Kidz” who danced up the street in unison, while local celebrity “Padjo the Calf” graced us with his presence on the day. Word International Ministries joined us again with some new dancers, while Castleross provided a beautiful coloured float with all the decorations made by the residents. Some of our walking groups included the Carrickmacross Coarse Angling & Junior Development Group, the 6th Monaghan Scouts Group from Killanny/Inniskeen, the Aces Athletic Club, Friends of Lough Derg, the Pioneers Association, Stedfast House, and the Cycling Club. The Carrickmacross Festival Committee also provided a funky float which showed off the talents of some local musicians.
The Vintage Section is a big part of the Parade each year and as usual there were magnificent displays from Lisdoonan, Carrickmacross and Muff Vintage Clubs. Commercial Floats included GoLo Insurances, Supervalue, Vanity Nightclub, Komandor, Steele’s Menswear, JC Environmental and Hoey Fuels, Wakely Engineering, McElvaney’s Waste and Recycling and Matthews Coaches. O’Reilly Concrete also provided a very well designed float based on the movie “Up”, with a house floating down Main Street held up with balloons!
The crowds were also delighted to hear music from the Corduff Pipers who received Best Band prize, the Aughnamullen East Pipe Band, St. Mary’s Brass Band, Kingscourt and Lisnagrieve Pipe Band. 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.
Seachtain na Gaeilge – Fuinneog Álainn – Best Shop window was won by Walshes Newsagents, O’Neill 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, Cllr Matt Carthy, Mr. Seamus McEneaney, The Fiddler’s Elbow, Cloughvalley Stores and everyone that came to watch the Parade.