St Patrick’s Day Festival details announced

Ireland’s big day out in Digbeth.

Full details have been announced for Sunday’s St Patrick’s Day festival and parade, taking place in Digbeth, the spiritual home of the Irish in Birmingham.

The Parade celebrations will begin with the first ever St Patrick’s fun run, aptly named the Emerald Mile, which kicks off proceedings at 10am outside main sponsors and race HQ South and City College. The Emerald Mile will see participants run, jog, walk and dance their way around the two mile Parade route in their best fancy dress.

South and City College’s sponsorship allowi#s runners to enter for free, emabing them to raise money for charity and be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes. The first thirty runners will receive a memento ‘I ran the Emerald Mile’ t-shirt, attendees are invited to come and cheer on the runners, and all festival areas will open at 11am.

At 12 noon, with a blast of the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums Marching Band, the parade will commence, led by this year’s headline sponsors Kiely Bros. floats, which will include a cottage with thatched roof.

Another crowd pleaser, the Motorpoint confetti blast, will follow the parades procession, and much to spectators delight will shoot confetti blast sporadically throughout the parade route. The procession will continue with this year’s flag bearers, giant puppets depicting this year’s theme of Dancing, created by carnival artist Garry Jones and local students, the VIP bus, plus walking groups, floats, dancers, vintage vehicles and more.

This year celebrations have doubled, bringing two free areas – the St. Pat Rocks area, in the Zellig car park High Street, and the Emerald Village, located in the Seven Capital car park on Bradford Street – both kicking off from 11am.

With two stages of live music, revellers will dance the day away to a line-up of popular local artists and up and coming talent throughout the afternoon. Performances on the St. Pat Rocks main stage will begin at 2pm following the Parade, and will see the likes of the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble with Joe Broughtoun, Annagry, Reel Note with John Joyce, Rackhouse Pilfer and headliners the Destroyers taking to the stage, with performances from the city’s emerging musicians on The Emerald Village stage.

To keep the little ones entertained, there will be face painting, a magic show at 2pm, free dance and music workshops from 3.30pm-4.30pm, arts and crafts activities at 3.30pm, a petting zoo, and even ponies, plus a funfair for all of the thrillseekers, in the Emerald Village family area.

Also in the Emerald Village will be a market area featuring local crafters, makers and traders will be on offer, with vintage clothing from the Off The Scale bus, freshly baked goods from Elidor, handmade crafts from Penny Farthing Crafts, sweet treats from Fizz Pop Candy Shop, and much more.

Chair of the Organising Committee, Anne Tighe, said: “With just days to go until this year’s Parade, the excitement is now really building! As our theme this year is Dancing, we have some stunning floats, dancing and walking groups, and marching bands to celebrate dance in cultures around the world – it promises to be a real spectacle!

As well as the Parade itself, this year, we have doubled our offering for attendees, and have some fantastic free entertainment for all of the family to enjoy on the day in St. Pat Rock’s and the Emerald Village. Fingers crossed the weather is on our side!”

The Birmingham St. Patrick’s Festival and Kiely Bros. presents the Birmingham St. Patrick’s Parade Day 2017 will take place in Digbeth from 10am on Sunday 12 March.

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