Saturday, September 30, 2023

Festival organisers say ‘stay open’ as Ben Dolan is named Marshal

The organising committee of this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Mullingar – the first since 2017 – has asked the town’s businesses to remain open on the day.

“While St Patrick’s Day is a bank holiday, we encourage all businesses to open as we look forward to this great event inviting thousands to our town. We ask that you have St Patrick’s displays in your windows to help us celebrate the event,” the committee said in a statement. “You might have flags in your window, some St Patrick’s decoration, a green display, sna­kes, green lighting (easily done with some green Perspex over existing lighting) or even allow your staff to wear green.”

And Westmeath Topic has learned that Ben Dolan will be the Grand Marshal of this year’s parade – an honour for a highly-respected, living musical legend.

This year’s celebration has become a Festival, and it includes:  
• 16 March: Mullingar Town Band will march from Market Square to Mullingar Harbour where they will meet a flotilla (carrying St Patrick) and will perform until 8pm

• 17 March: A new initiative for this year’s parade involves catering for those who may have sensory issues. A Sensory Area/Quite Zone will be at the bottom of Austin Friar Street and will be signposted as such, there will be volunteers stationed here who will assist in ensuring all parade-goers can enjoy the parade (3pm)

• 18 March: Travel back to the 80’s with The 80’s Generation Band at Greville Arms Hotel. Doors open at 8pm

• 19 March: Drive-in cinema

“The committee is giving up their spare time to ensure the Parade returns to Mullingar for 2023 and for each year after that. We are asking businesses to please get involved through sponsorship and/or entering a float,” the committee added. “It cannot be done without the help of businesses in our town.”

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