St Patrick’s Parade and Country Market 2009

Friday 13th march

Hurrah, it’s been a good week of sunshine and warm weather, making us all believe that next Tuesday March 17th, St Patrick’s will be a glorious day. The children of the National School came up with this idea that we should have a float of “Slave Boat” showing poor St Pat as a child, or teenagers, being taken over to Ireland. So the class made a banner with the title “Slave Boat” on it. We got the Cullen’s family to promise to put their boat on a trailer and drive it in the parade and I have lovely blue fabric that I can tack or tape along the edges to be the the water, as it t’were.

One problem… we don’t have the slave or the slave driver!. The older teenagers won’t do it… the children of the school are too busy marching in other clubs… I’ll have to resort to bribery.


It’s March 4th alright. And the beginning of March means one thing- the St Patrick Holiday is just round the corner. When I first came to Ireland, a while ago now if the truth be known, I was struck with the fact that March 17th was a national holiday. I don’t exactly remember why I thought it was so amazing- except perhaps to consider that one didn’t have to  carry on with the business of going to work or school or whatever on March 18th with a flaming headache, a remarkable thing. Why shouldn’t it be a holiday? Considering St Patrick has a lot to answer for, he might as well be reason a day off. The school system really lucked out this year as 17th falls on a Tuesday, the children and teachers get the Monday and the Wednesday off. Add that to the weekend and I’d call it a trip to Spain.
Our little town of Drumshanbo are busy preparing for our own celebrations for the 17th,          St. Patrick Parade & Country Market. It’s just like it sounds- there’s be a Country Market on the High Street at 2 pm- food stalls and crafts stalls will gather with their backs to the buildings, facing the street,but keeping the entrances of the pub a clear, music will be provided by the local musicians, including myself; the parade will begin at 4pm and last about a half hour.The event finishes at 5pm and then its off to the pub to concluded with that previously mentioned headache. Good clean fun as  I always say.


I’m working with the Fourth Class in the National School creating art work that will be carried or worn on the day of the parade. This a terrific class, lead by a terrific, a Mr. Stephen Kane. The students in this class are ten years old. And they have a great amount of enthusiasm and excitement about them. They are making tunics with the 32 countries shield drawn on the front of them and the county colours on the back. The counties names will be in both languages and the tunic will also come with wrist bands complete with Celtic designs. This particular class are great footballers and they will be marching with their team in the parade because so the tunics will be farmed out to other classes in the school to wear. Its all great fun. I’m also trying to create a huge snake like a Chinese dragon , to move at the back of the parade

A sketch of a Drumshanbo parade on the High Street
A sketch of a Drumshanbo parade on the High Street

with old St Paddy himself. I’m not sure how that will run- its might be too adventurous an idea to put into action this year, but I’ll give it a go fro the next week and see if it will fly. I’m also getting the children to create tri-coloured pom-poms for the infant and senior classes and we’re also make a load of silage snakes to drag along in the muck. It’s great! You should come !

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