By Michael Keaveny
There will be colour and excitement in towns and villages throughout the region with St Patrick's Day parades organised by local communities.
The times for the various parades are as follows.....
Ardee - 3pm
Ashbourne - 2.30pm
Drogheda - 3pm
Enfield - 3pm
Kilcock - 1.30pm
Kingscourt - 1pm
Mullagh - 5pm
Navan - 2pm
Oldcastle - 12noon
Ratoath - 12.30pm
Slane - 3pm
Trim - 3.30pm
Ashbourne Parade will take place at 2.30pm starting off at Lidl. It will follow the usual route down Declan St, up Main Street, up Broadmeadow Street, up Killegland Street before returning to Lidl. The grand marshall for the parade will be the Ashbourne rugby team who recently won a third successive All-Ireland Junior Cup. The parade will also feature the Ashbourne 2020 group, who will be celebrating Ashbourne's 200th anniversary next year. There will also be a fun fair and market and open farm from Agri Aware who seek to improve awareness and education of young people about agriculture in Ireland.
Athboy St Patrick’s day Parade will begin at 12.30pm at the green on the Rathcairn/Dunderry road and will follow the traditional route through the town. With 30 floats the procession is expected to run for an hour. The theme of this year’s parade will be celebrating the 120 anniversary of the death of Fr Eugene O'Growney, who was a priest and scholar from Athboy. He was a key figure in the Gaelic revival of the late 19th century and wrote a number of articles in Irish which were published in the Gaelic Journal. The parade will have an eco-friendly feel to it and participants are asked to be environmentally aware when making their floats. Performer Brian Mullen will also sing his St Patrick's Day song at the parade.
Athboy St. Patrick's Day 2018.
Anybody who is heading out and about should wrap up well. Met Eireann have said March 17 will be "a cold, breezy day, with sunny spells and scattered showers" with "maximum temperatures 7 to 10 Celsius, in moderate to fresh northwesterly winds".
Ardee parade will mark its 50th anniversary this year and will be led by the Grand Marshall. It will feature 75 floats comprised of local community groups, sports teams and companies from in and around the town. It will be a free event with the organisers handing out free flags, bubbles and sweets to families attending the parade. The parade will also be filmed by RTE.
St Patrick's weekend is also a massive weekend for Meath GAA as our mens team could possibly secure division one status for 2020 with a win away to Clare on Saturday
Enfield parade will start off at 3pm at Na Fianna GAA club and the reviewing stand is outside the Infield House. The parade will be led by The Laurence Pipe band and there will be about 60 floats in the parade which will be made up of local businesses, community groups and sports teams. The traditional blessing of the shamrock will take place at the start of the parade at the reviewing stand by local priest Father Michael Whittaker. Presentations for the best float will take place in the Bridge House afterwards.
Navan St Patrick's Day parade will feature family friendly events, such as a tent which will hold children’s entertainment over the weekend, such as face painting, a puppet show etc. Both Trimgate St and Kennedy Place will be pedestrianised on the 17th with bouncing castles, coffee shops etc. being held.
The parade will start at 2 pm in at Enterprise Centre and with over 60 different floats made up of local sports teams, community organisations and volunteer groups it will be the biggest parade in Meath. The theme of the parade is the Irish tricolour and it will be led by the local army battalion, marching band and a yet to be announced grand marshal. As well as the parade a number of other events are happening around the town over the course of St. Patrick's weekend. A night of song will take place in St Mary's Church on 15 of March, with music from Navan singers and ceoltas group.
Padraig Fitzsimons also thanked "the local gardai, civil defense and Order of Malta, because the parade couldn't go ahead without their help" and said if anybody wants to help out on the day as a steward they'd be welcome to as they are in short supply.
Check out some of the best bits from Navan St Patricks Day Parade 2018 below
Ratoath parade will take place at 1pm. It will start off outside La Bucca and travel through the town and finish up at the Steeplechase roundabout. The Guest Marshall will be Ratoath native Cian Carey who is the British F3 Champion for 2018. Each float/walking group will stop at the main stage for a short welcome with our MC’s Bee Flanagan and local Cllr Nick Killian. There will be a cash prize for the best float and best walking group.
Along with the Pyramids of Giza, The Empire State Building and other world famous monuments the Hill of Slane will also be turning green to commemorate St Patrick's Day. Elsewhere in the town the parade will kick off at 3.30pm at Slane National School and work its way through the town. It will be a free day out for families with over 2,000 bags of sweets being given out throughout the day. There will be 25 Oompa Loompas giving out golden goody bags, some of which will contain golden tickets which can be exchanged for cash prizes in Minmaghs shop. Local musicians will also play and Peadar Farrelly will do MC for the day. Slane Castle Distillery are also running an event on March 16, To find out more click here.
Slane parade 2016
Trim St Patrick’s Day will begin at 3.30 pm and will follow the usual route from the Ring Road, up Patrick Street, down Emmet Street and Market Street before dispersing at Castle Street. The theme of this year’s parade is “Knitting the Community Together” so participants, business in the town and members of the public are encouraged to produce pieces of knitting work to “crochet bomb” the town. The parade will be led by local acts, to promote the talent within the town. Meath Macra na Feirme will hold a "Parade of Light" tractor run on March 16th in Trim to find out more click here.