The organisers of the Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day are hoping rain does not spoil the party for a second year in a row.
The Family Day is set to take place at Hyde Park between 1pm and 6.30pm on March 18.
A main stage will host several local Irish bands, musicians and the winners of the 2012 Gaels’ Got Talent competition playing until 6.30pm. There will also be a children’s area, citizenship ceremony, stalls and Irish county representatives in attendance.
There was widespread disappointment last year when bad weather led to the cancellation of the event. Heavy rain meant the family day area of the park became waterlogged.
The City of Sydney asked organisers to look at alternative venues for this year’s event. “Sydney has experienced above average rainfall this summer, and City staff advised event organisers that this could result in areas of the park being unavailable,” a City of Sydney spokesperson told the Irish Echo.
“City staff suggested to organisers that they may want to consider an alternative venue such as Prince Alfred Park.”
The spokesperson added that no pressure had been put on the organisers to change the venue.
Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day President Catherine Crosse said Sydney’s recent wet weather did cause concern in the lead-up to the event.
“Following the disappointment of the parade and family day being cancelled in 2011, we do hope that the same circumstances do not eventuate again. However, we can’t control the weather; all we can do is ensure we have adequate communication processes in place to advise the community of any change in plans,” she said.
“Should the weather prove to be a concern in the days leading up to Sunday, March 18, we will be in close contact with the relevant authorities and a collaborative decision will be made to ensure the safety and well-being of parade and family day participants and patrons,” she added.
Ms Crosse said if any part of the parade or Family Day needed to be cancelled, the committee would work to communicate details to the community as quickly as possible.
“We have contingency plans in place for events on the day we can influence, i.e. Town Hall reception, the citizenship ceremony and the big raffle.”
Any call on the cancellation of the parade cannot be made until 7am on the morning of the parade, she said. The organisers plan to regularly update their website and Facebook page and to alert the community of any changes to the event through radio broadcasts, signage at Hyde Park and Town Hall, telephone and word of mouth.
:: Day of entertainment ahead
The 2012 Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Family Day kicks off with live music at 10.20 am to entertain crowds as they gather in preparation for the Parade.
The stage will be located on George Street in front of Town Hall, where there will be an Aboriginal welcome at 10.15 am followed by performances from David Wilson, Castlecomer and others.
The 33rd Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade commence at noon from the corner of George and Bathurst Street, the procession will turn right onto Park Street and continue onto Elizabeth Street where the Parade will finish.
The theme for this year’s Parade is ‘Sydney celebrating its Irishness’.
After the Parade the fun will continue in Hyde Park with several stages of live entertainment from 1.00 pm to 6.30 pm.
Organisers encourage attendees to visit the Sydney St Patrick’s Day information stall to receive a copy of the 2012 event program.
Additional reporting by Kerrie Kennedy