This year’s St Patrick’s Day in Parade had the biggest crowd ever with according to organisers.
Braving the cold weather, over 40 floats showed up.
Patricia Berry was one of the leading organisers, of the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade, along with the group Athy Promoters.
Ms Berry said “The time and effort that people put in to their floats was second to none, it was very much appreciated by the Athy Town Promoters group. I think we all proved it once again that we have it all in abundance in our amazing little Town of Athy. This is one of the highlights of our calendar in Athy and the immense community spirit and pride present in our town is always on display.”
Throughout St Patrick’s weekend there was a carnival atmosphere in Athy. During the week leading up to the parade, Athy Heritage Centre and castle were turned green.
Marking Seachtain na Gaeilge week, on Saturday, the day before St Patrick’s Day Colm Walsh headed an event marking tributes to the late Mícheál Ó Dubhshláine who was a cumadoóir amhrán, storyteller, múinteoir , author and gentleman. Athy gathered to l honour him at the unveiling of his “Made of Athy” plaque at O’Briens, Emily Square.
Music and dancing filled the streets throughout the weekend.
Well known musician Steve Cooney attended on Saturday.
Before the parade, people had the opportunity to come on board Freedom on the Water for a 30 minute Taster Session tour on the Barrow Navigation. Tours commenced at 10am with the last tour departing at 1 pm.
From 3pm on St Patrick’s Day floats began lining up.The parade commenced from the Kilkenny Road and progress along William Street, Duke Street and Leinster Street.
No less than three pipe bands performed at the event.
The grand marshals were Anna May Mc Hugh, Sr Consillo and Colm Walsh.
Winners for the floats at the Athy St Patrick’s Day Parade are Rheban Community Group, Athy Tidy Towns, U/!8 Group Sing and Athy Sing Sign, Best Sport Group Rheban GAA, Best Vintage Narraghmore, Best Business/Commerical A / A Pharmacy, Best New Entry Barrowhouse Gaa, Best Kiddies Group Shooting Stars, Athy, and Best Window Display, Vincent’s Shop, Athy.
Also the parade celebrated the great achievements of the 12 local heroes. These awards are given to people who are pillars of the community and have been awarded for their achievements.
Local TDs and councillors attended, MCs were Garda Séan O’Mahoney and Charlie Hughes.Also Superintendent Martin Walker attended.
The work by organisers of the parade did not come to a stop on the day, lots of work went into clearing up after the parade and getting the town back to pre-parade appearance.
Ms Berry extended gratitude to Athy County Show and Athy Tidy Towns.
She said: “Everything went smoothly, the sun came out.”
Meanwhile another major event, the presentation of awards for the Best Floats, is coming up, to be held at Athy Heritage Centre, from 7.30pm, on April 5, at Athy Heritage Centre.
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