St Patrick's Day 2014

As a child, attending the Dublin St Patrick's Day Parade was an annual rite of passage. Like consuming cabbage and bacon as our National Day's feast. 

I quite liked the parade - the waiting around wasn't too bad and it was quite fun despite the cold - but the bacon and cabbage? Not so much.

It's been many years since I've been to a parade in our Capital city and it's changed a lot. From the snippets I've seen on TV it's become more glamorous, culturally inclusive, vibrant and spectacular. It's also attracted many more visitors! It's a shame that my child has never been, but with all that waiting around for hours and the crowd being 20 deep at the barriers, it's just too uncomfortable.

Over the years we've had alternative ways to view the parade and have attended other local ones too.

The local St Patrick's Day Parades can be quite 'entertaining'!  It's been a while since we've been to one of those either and today we decided to see what Bray had to offer us this year.

There was a bit of waiting around and the crowd only built up at the last minute, so far so good. 

It began with the great fanfare ...... of emergency vehicle sirens! Lead by the army and followed by the Civil Defense.

And of course it's not a parade without a tractor...

But it wasn't  a load of bull...

There were some very cool vintage cars too 

There followed the usual mix of sport and various youth activity groups etc., .... out for a nice walk.

It was lovely to see the children joining in but I was missing the music. And some...... pizazz!

Some groups made the effort to perform. Like the first group of Irish Dancers and the Bray Twirlers

The Tallaght Band were great!

And the Junior Musicals group added some colour with their costume and performance

The  Brittania Coconut Dancers were..... 'interesting'!!!

There was also of course a mix of charity groups like Bray Lakers, The Open Door and Bray Cancer (for example) using the parade as an opportunity to highlight their organisations. Precisely as they should and great to see them there. Some groups also put some effort into highlighting their upcoming fund raising events.

There is quite a community of Chinese and Filipino people living in Bray and it's environs, and they have added some colour and spectacle with their performances in previous parades. I do hope they bring that along next year because I did miss it.

The parade was brought to a fiery finale with 2 fire-eating females!

And the float containing road barriers that followed them was the damp squib of a cue that the parade had come to an end!! 

It felt like an hour's wait for 20 minutes of a parade but it was actually 45 minutes long.

I'd love there to have been more music and performance from the groups taking part. Even the local radio station wheeled on by without a tune playing! There may have course been an MC on the seafront but something was needed on the main street too, to give the proceedings a lift.

It was good to get out of the house for the first time this weekend though!

Happy  St Patrick's Day to you all :-)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit go léir.

And may the road rise with you....and all that 'jazz'!



  1. Your parade looks fab! I normally take my boys up to the London one which has grown and grown each year. Unfortunately we had a family commitment this year and had to miss it which I was gutted about as the weather was also amazing! However I still managed to terrorise them with my music melody cd yesterday LOL they know the words to Whiskey in the Jar off pat :)

  2. @mum in meltdown: I'd say the London one is very good. This was just a local one!! I love the idea of you 'terrorising' your boys with Irish music!! I'm sure they're thanking you for it!

    xx Jazzy

  3. Oh, what fun! I felt like I was right there, enjoying it, too! The Irish in my DNA stood up and shouted!

  4. @Shelly: Hah! And we heard you too!!

    xx Jazzy

  5. I know we went to the big one this year, but I often enjoy the local ones more, especially when you can just stand on the pavement and not be penned in! And I completely agree about music and performance, one of my best memories was the gymnasts performing in the Wexford parade a few years back on a really sunny day, it was wonderful :) xx

  6. I suppose there will always be limitations to local gatherings and parades, but glad you had a good time, and hope you knocked back a swift half of Guinness! X

  7. I guess that it must be a universal law-every parade MUST have at least one tractor. It sounds as though you had a nice time-although I agree with you on the music! Cabbage and bacon? I think that I would pass as well...My mom would always make corned beef and cabbage-again, I'll pass. I have been to the St. Patrick's day parade in Manhattan...which is quite an adventure. Green beer and drunk people looking for rest rooms!

  8. It looked like a great show going by your photographs. I am not too sure about the cabbage and bacon! :) My first born missed out on being born on St Patrick's Day by four minutes!! x

  9. @Looking for Blue Sky: Well, I guess the local ones are 'entertaining' in their own way ;-) Now, gymnasts in a local parade I would love!

    @Older Mum: That is quite true. No Guinness was had but the Lenten promise WAS broken and some vino was enjoyed with our meal afterwards!

    @Kathleen: We really did have a nice time. I would LOVE to see the Manhattan Parade! Yup, corned bef, cabbage and potatoes was a staple here too. (You most definitely have Irish in your DNA!)

    @Bright Side of Life: Wow... we could have made him an honoroury Irish (young) man!

    Thanks for your comments :-)

    xx Jazzy


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