The first event of the bank holiday weekend begins today.
St Patrick's Day celebrations will be in full swing this weekend across the midlands.
Laois will begin their festivities with their annual parades before mass, which kicks off in Vicarstown at 9 o’clock from Canal Bridge, while the community in Timahoe will begin their festivities at 9.30am.
After mass at 9 o'clock, in Ballyroan, children are invited to decorate their pedal tractors and bikes to take part in celebrations. Vintage tractors are also joining from the local vintage club and tea and coffee will be available in the hall afterwards.
At 10 o’clock, things get underway Spink – with refreshments in Knock Hall after the parade.
Does your float drive or will you be walking this St Patrick’s Day? It doesn’t matter in Abbeyleix because at 12 o’clock people will have the opportunity to win a prize for either one. Festivities will continue around the town until 3.30pm.
It’s a 12 noon start in Clonaslee, there are prizes for the best vintage, best dressed dog, best club/school, most original and most entertaining floats.
Rathdowney will be ‘stronger together’ with music on the main band stand from 11 o’ clock, the parade will be at 12 noon and that will be followed by music from the Dooley Brothers at 1.15pm.
Celebrations in Portlaoise start with a parade at 12.30pm and chairperson of the committee, Dominic Dunne, says they want to keep their festivities afterwards affordable:
The carnival is coming to Mountrath as they celebrate 50 years of festivities.
The Brazilian Ambassador H.E Marcel Biato will arrivefor 11.30am alongside his wife Mrs Rosalee Biato.
Committee chairperson, James Kelly, says there’ll be many special guests taking part in their parade at 12.30pm:
In Durrow, the parade will begin from St. Fintan’s Terrace at 1.30pm and will continue until 3 o’clock. There will be music, Irish Dancing, bouncy castles, food and craft stalls and much more all on The Square.
The final Laois parade will be in Rosenallis at 3.30pm from Johnsgrove, with refreshments provided in the community centre afterwards.
In Offaly, celebrations begin in Rhode, from the Power Station 10 o’clock and houses along the route are being encouraged to decorate with bunting and flags.
This will be followed by Mountbolus at 11 o’clock and their event will begin at Newtons on The Hill. There are prizes for Fancy dress, most original float, best group display and vintage vehicle.
Clara festivities start at 11.30am with a concert in the square that will include music from Alex Roe and Teresa O'Hara, as well as Ceili music by the James Kinsella Ceili Band.
Tullamore’s parade starts at 11.30am from the car park of the Bridge Centre Shopping Centre.
Committee PRO, Sean O’ Brien, says celebrations are in order because it is 40 years since the parade was founded:
Edenderry will have their parade at 2.30pm, with live music and a carnival in the square for all the family. Their ‘Beat on the Street’ event will carry on until Saturday, where things will kick off again at 2 o’ clock.
Superheroes will descend on Banagher for its parade at 3 o’clock. There’ll be street music and entertainment from 12 noon and floats will also make their way from Shannon Harbour at 12 noon.
In Kilcormac, the parade kicks off from the GAA grounds at 3.30pm. There will be prizes up for grabs in their fancy dress competition. Everyone is included as their will be prizes for the best dressed child and adult.
Chairperson, Seamus Barron says they are celebrating the sense of community:
Tyrrellspass will not be having a parade this year but will be having a Celebration of St Patrick's Day from 2 o’clock on The Village Green. You can expect a traditional afternoon of music, dance and entertainment.
At 2.30pm Moate’s parade will be making its first return since 2019. The Mullingar Town Band will be performing and its starting point at The Gap House.
The streets of Delvin will be lined with stalls, vintage cars, model airplanes and electric vehicles. There will be a theme of green for the day from 2 o'clock until 6 o'clock. You will also have the opportunity to win €1,000 off your electricity in Delvin’s raffle.
Mullingar’s festival begins today with a flotilla at 6 o’clock in Mullingar Harbour and runs until Sunday. There will be street activities, 80s entertainment and a drive-in cinema.
Committee member, Ray Dolan says their parade, which starts at 3 o’clock, will have a special addition this year:
Meanwhile, celebrations are already in full swing in Athlone with The Croi na hEireann festival running until Sunday. On Friday there will be entertainment under the canopy from 2 o'clock until 6 o’clock, while on Saturday there will have water activities, a vintage rally and more entertainment under the canopy.
To end the weekend of celebrations, the parade will take place on Sunday at 2 o’clock and chairman, John Henson has the details:
To end the day, you can get ‘Wild in Westmeath’ as Castlepollard will begin their parade at 5 o’clock.