The return of the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade to Waterford since 2019 saw record crowds in attendance on March 17th. The spectacular Parade was the main event for the inaugural three-day Waterford St. Patricks Festival which generated a real carnival atmosphere throughout the City Centre.
With a total of over 70 contributors, including Spraoi, drama societies, community groups, sports clubs, youth groups and more, the organisers say they were delighted to see the number of diverse groups taking part.
Johnny Codd, Festival Director from Waterford City & County Council, explained that “We only had a few months to prepare for St. Patricks Day, and we honestly didn’t know what to expect, given that it takes time to design & create a parade entry. We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the participants and by the standard of entries”.
The parade also included the Waterford-Ukrainian community who received a warm welcome and great applause from the crowds.
After the parade spectacle, the crowds dispersed from the parade route and into John Roberts Square and the Cultural Quarter where music, song & dance entertained the large numbers of festival-goers in the City Centre.
Anna Jordan was involved in organising the entertainment in the City Centre and she commented that “the atmosphere in John Roberts Square was just wonderful. The sun even popped out to greet us, and the bands attracted crowds who sang, danced and laughed and the whole weekend was the celebration that we all craved after the two year hiatus”.
Mayor of Waterford City & County, Cllr. Joe Kelly highlighted the great atmosphere in the City, by saying that “I was honoured to be Mayor at the return of the St. Patricks Day parade, and to witness the coming together of Waterford people from all sections of society. I also welcome the introduction of the three-day festival, as it definitely added to the occasion. It was wonderful to see people enjoying the activities and the music in the City Centre, at the heart of Ireland’s Best Place to Live”.
Waterford’s St. Patricks Day Festival took place from Thursday March 17th to Sunday 20th and included a Jazz concert, an Open-mic Comedy night, musical performances across the 4 days, fairground attractions and a spectacular fireworks display.