The Rocks will again play host to Sydney’s St Patrick’s Day festivities in 2020, the Irish Echo has learned.
Despite more than 44mm of rain on St Patrick’s Day, thousands of revellers made their way to The Rocks for the official Irish celebrations.
The determination of the Irish community to celebrate the national day despite the appalling weather impressed Property NSW, who manage The Rocks area.
“Our vision to transform The Rocks into an Irish village was a great success, with our restaurants, bars and retailers, and the Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival organisers worked hard to ensure visitors had the best experience possible, despite the weather,” spokeswoman Sarah Cleggett told the Irish Echo.
“The Rocks shares a rich history with the Irish in Sydney and we look forward to celebrating St Patrick’s Day here again next year.”
More than 600 people took part in the modified parade, which weaved its way through the narrow streets of The Rocks. Outside the Mercantile Hotel hundreds of revellers enjoying the live music cheered on the parade as it made its way up to Dawes Point Park, the festival site.
Karen Murphy, president of the Sydney Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival committee, was delighted that so many turned up to celebrate, despite the downpour.
“The Sydney St Patrick’ Day Organisation volunteers would like to thank the Irish, friends of the Irish and those who were Irish for the day who braved the rain, walked with the parade, splashed in the puddles and demonstrated that hail, rain or shine nothing stops the celebrations on St Patrick’s Day. We are so proud of you.
“We have come home to The Rocks and will return next year. A big thank you to Property NSW who manage The Rocks precinct for their help and support. They have now been adopted into the Sydney St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival family. Looking forward to seeing everyone again next year.”
The rain eventually took its toll on the festival site at Dawes Point Park, which closed early, at 2pm.
The decision to go ahead with the volunteer-run event resulted in a big financial hot for organisers who are appealing for financial support from the community.
“Even though the day was a great success, the weather did mean that [we] took a financial hit,” Ms Murphy said. “The fact the park had to close early and the heavy rain meant that forecasted revenue and donations fell short. In order to make up for this the committee are planning a couple of exciting fundraising events. Alternatively you can donate using the donate button on the website.”