The streets of Leederville are set to turn green on Sunday the 16th of March for Perth’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
After the huge success experienced in 2013, which was the first year the parade was held in the city, it’s back this year and it is expected to be bigger and better than ever.
The 2014 festival will showcase the best of Irish heritage through music, dance, sport, the arts and aims to promote the success and support of Irish businesses in Western Australia. It will again be made up of community groups, multicultural floats and a grand marshal.
On 17 March 2013, an estimated 10,000 people flooded the streets of Leederville to witness the parade. Following the unprecedented turnout, the City of Vincent awarded the 2014 St Patrick’s Day committee $20 000 to continue the good work in 2014.
This year, St Patrick’s Day in Perth has been transformed into a festival, with numerous events leading up to the parade, helping to raise money for its associated charity The Claddagh Association.
“We’re having a festival this year so it’s the St Patrick’s Day Festival WA and we have different events along with the different communities,” parade organiser Karen Hennessey said.
The White Collar Boxing event on Friday February 28 at The WA Italian Club will see 24 amateur boxers fight it out in the ring for charity. Tickets start from $40 and are available from www.ticketbooth.com.au.
Last year, star power came in the form of Irish humanitarian and legendary rocker Sir. Bob Geldof, who took time to mingle with the locals at the Irish Club of WA and kick-start the parade. However, while a big name would obviously attract a crowd, Ms Hennessey told the Echo the committee do not want the parade to become reliant on a celebrity to draw in the crowds.
“We decided we didn’t really want it to become an event that takes a celebrity every year and really just let the event prove itself more than anything else. A celebrity would be a bonus for people to come along to an event but really we just want the parade to shine,” she said.
“We have really worked hard at trying to bring all the community groups together under the one umbrella and really be able to open a culture up to the public. The Parade on the Sunday is really an appreciation of a community who have been given a new chance in a country far away from home,” she continued.
The parade kicks off at 10am on March 16th and the celebrations continue at Medibank Stadium from 11:30am.
Floats will work their way down Newcastle Street, Oxford Street and Vincent Street. Once at the Medibank Stadium, the best of Ireland will be on display with musicians, bands, dancers and a large family area featuring Gaelic games and other activities.