St Patrick’s Day Parade

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A Day in the Life – The Life in the Day: Kilcormac St Patricks day Parade

The preparation begins in the weeks before with sponsorship from local businesses and Birr Municipal District Council secured. The signs on the road coming into the town. Two big signs of green to let all know of the upcoming parade. And from there it starts on the 17th March…

On the morning of the parade the preparation begins early, more than 10 men will be out on the street from 8am putting up barriers for the safety of the spectators. The viewing platform (trailer) for the judges and guests is brought into town and is in place on the street by 10am with the ladies Collette, Eileen, Anne and others assemble to decorate the trailer and are ably assisted by Cormac in setting up tables and chairs (kindly loaned from the KDA). Trophies are brought to the platform and displayed. The sound equipment is set up, Tom and Paddy run through all the checks on sound. Seamus will assist and oversee the set up. Pre-printed registration forms and numbers are brought to the trailer from where they will be dispersed to the competitors as they assemble in the hour before the beginning of the parade (registration takes place on the day of the parade), as it is a non-commercial parade there is no entry fee.

Marty sets up a lovely display of vintage equipment and implements in his garden which is one of the many focal points around the town and this adds to the atmosphere on the day of the parade with some of the shops putting in lovely window displays and last year even some of the houses on the street displayed pictures in the windows to add to the life and colour of the parade.

In the hour before the parade begins the tractors and vintage vehicles as well as all driven entries & floats, begin to assemble on the road outside of the town and through the dedication of the volunteer stewards they are all organised into their rotation with floats and vintage vehicles registered and given a number and this information all returned to the viewing platform in time for our MC to read and the judges get some details from the registration form which will help them in judging (category of entry and number of people involved etc.).

The fancy dress and any other walking entries in the parade will assemble in the GAA field and be registered there with assistance from Marie. Jean, Bernice, Sylvia and Sinead will do the duty of ‘runners’, up and down the street ferrying information and registration forms and numbers to the judges & MC at the viewing platform. There will be several volunteer stewards (as many as 10 or 11) en route all along the parade to assist the steady flow of the floats and entries and make sure that all the onlookers are safe. Assisted by Mary Curry and her Civil Defence team. The long tradition of Kilcormac Parade has been to encourage people to show the skills and display the traditions of our ancestral past, many of the local families have took their place year after year coming up with historical ideas or topical events from around the world have inspired many floats so that again and again they come with original ideas and interesting displays.

Now it’s your turn to look out into your own community and ask yourself, “what can I do?”. Can you support the parade for a few hours on the day by helping with stewarding, helping with the setting up of the platform or assisting with the putting up and taking down of the barriers on the morning. It would be of great benefit to the parade committee if people would not park their cars on the main street in Kilcormac on the morning of the parade. What can YOU offer, do you have an idea for a float? Can you face paint? Could you get together with a few of your friends, family or neighbours to create a float or take part in the fancy dress to join in the spirit of what makes our Community parade a fantastic event every year. Can you offer a tractor and trailer to someone for their float?

To quote Abraham Lincoln: “Of the people, By the people, For the people” You & We are the people who make Kilcormac Parade happen. Get involved. Take part! Come to our next parade meeting on Wednesday 15th February at 7:30pm in St. Joseph’s Community– we are just a group of people who want to keep the parade alive, and we need YOU!