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Portlaoise Parade Grand Marshalls announced
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Portlaoise Parade Grand Marshalls announced

Dunamaise Theatre and Portlaoise Musical Society confirmed as this year’s Grand Marshalls at St Patrick’s Day Parade in Portlaoise 

Dunamaise Theatre and Portlaoise Musical Society have been today announced as joint grand marshalls in celebration of their 25th anniversaries.  The St Patrick’s Day Committee are in the final stages of the planning for this year’s Portlaoise Parade with numerous floats entered and bands playing throughout the town.    The Parade will be held on Sunday 17th March, commencing from 12.30pm at Laois County Council buildings.  

File photo ‘Blast from the Past’ Credit: Alf Harvey Photography

The Parade will be going the ‘opposite way’ this year, from Laois Council buildings, and then from the top to the bottom of the Main Street before ending up back again at Laois County Council buildings.  The reason for going the opposite way is because the viewing stand will be outside the New Library this year.  

The Parade will be followed by Irish Dancing, Music, Craft Stalls, Children’s Amusements and much, much more.  A band can be purchased this year for children for €5 which entitles them to use the children’s amusements as many times as they like.  

File photo ‘Blast from the Past’
Credit: Alf Harvey Photography

From 12.30pm – the Parade leaves Laois County Council Building.  Some of the floats that will be parading this year include: Dunamaise Theatre and Portlaoise Musical Society (Grand Marshalls this year); Vintage displays; Portlaoise Panthers, Laois Volunteer Centre, Portlaoise GAA; Portlaoise Soccer Club, Laois Integration Network, Laois African Support Group; Civil Defence; Ukrainian Support Group; Laochra Laois and much much more.

Two band members of the Shanahoe band in the Mountrath St. Patrick’s Day parade. Picture: Jeff Harvey.

The viewing stand outside the new library, will be filled with Laois TDs, Councillors and other local dignitaries. 

The Parade will be followed by a Community Event on Main Street and, for the first time ever, in Lyster Square with Bouncy Castles, Street acts, Irish Music, Trade Stands, Irish Dancing and much, much more.   Band’s confirmed include the Portlaoise Accordion Bands and Finns and Frank’s Country and Western All Stars to name but a few.   MCs – Christy Bannon and Paul Downey will entertain the crowds at the top and bottom square.  

File photo ‘Blast from the Past’
Credit: Alf Harvey Photography

Chairperson, Dominic Dunne said: ‘The committee are grateful to all local businesses and communities who are helping to make this a memorable event including Laois County Council, Portlaoise Publicans, Downtown Portlaoise and Portlaoise Tidy Towns, to name but a few. A particular thanks to those who supported our table quiz last week in Kavanagh’s Pub’.

File photo ‘Blast from the Past’
Credit: Alf Harvey Photography

Michelle de Forge, Director of Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise said they were delighted to hear that they and Portlaoise Musical Society were announced as Grand Marshalls for the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Portlaoise. ‘This has given both Dunamaise and Portlaoise Musical Society a great boost as we both mark our 25th Anniversaries. Any past performers who want to join us in the Parade are welcome to come to Dunamaise at 11am, as you are, or in any costume! Everyone is welcome’ said Ms de Forge.  

File photo ‘Blast from the Past’
Credit: Alf Harvey Photography

JJ Tynan, Chairperson of Portlaoise Musical Society added: “We are honoured to share the place of Grand Marshall’s in the 2024 Portlaoise St. Patrick’s Day parade with Dunamaise Arts Centre to kickstart our 25th anniversary celebrations. The amount of people that have been embraced and captivated both on and off the stage by Portlaoise Musical Society over the past 25 years couldn’t even be counted and we are delighted to be able to celebrate the enormity of our success with all of our members and community at large among Dunamaise!”

The St Patrick’s Day committee include: Chairperson and Events Co-Ordinator, Dominic Dunne; Secretary, Pauline Flanagan; Treasurer Eugene McDonough, Councillor Catherine Fitzgerald, Councillor Marie Tuohy Paul Downey & Christy Bannon MC, joint MCs and Event-Co-ordinators; Frank Ward, PJ Kavanagh, Wayne Haslam and Noel Tuohy. 

Kate Maher getting in to the spirit of things at the Rosenallis St. Patrick’s Day parade. Picture: Jeff Harvey.