The Parade, the last to be organised by Ennis Town Council ahead of the scheduled Local Government changes this June, will commence from Aras Contae an Chláir at 11am on Monday, 17th March.
The centre piece of the day’s festivities will be the annual parade, the theme of which is “The Life of Brian”, coinciding with a programme of events taking place around County Clare to mark the 1000th anniversary of the death of the Last High King of Ireland, Brian Ború.
Before the Parade gets underway, the Mayor of Ennis and her counterpart from the German town of Langenfeld will sign a twinning charter confirming formal links between the two towns. The ceremony will take place on the Parade’s reviewing platform.
Ennis Town Council has also announced that this year’s Parade will, for the first time feature as part of a daylong schedule of live broadcasts from Ennis. From 8am on St Patricks’ Day all programmes will be available exclusively across the world on smartphones and tablets via the Ennis App or from the net at www.ennisapp.ie. Television pictures are being taken by TV stations in the US, France and Germany and audio feeds are being supplied to radio stations who want to broadcast some of the festivities live from Ennis. Presenters on the day will include Ennis native and singer/songwriter Mike Hanrahan (formally of Stocktons Wing), musician and raconteur Pat Costello, internationally known journalist, columnist and spinner of great yarns Cormac MacConnell, and well-known Ennis-based freelance broadcaster Ger Sweeney.
Meanwhile, well-known Ennis landmarks are being illuminated in green light in the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day as part of the local authority’s support of Tourism Ireland’s annual ‘global greening’ initiative. Áras Contae and Chláir and the Daniel O’Connell monument have joined the Pyramids of Giza, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney Opera House, the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, HMS Belfast in London and dozens of other landmarks and iconic sites around the world in the initiative.
Speaking ahead of the parade, Mayor of Ennis Mary Coote Ryan stated: “As the last Mayor from Ennis Town Council to participate in the Ennis Parade, I look forward to greeting the huge numbers of spectators that are expected to turn out along the parade route. The Parade has become a major community event in recent years with a growing number and variety of participants, and this year I am delighted to see that events will be broadcast live over the internet for the enjoyment of Clare people all over the world.”
This year’s parade will commence from Clare County Council’s Headquarters from where it will proceed down New Road before crossing over the Club Bridge and passing through Abbey Street, O’Connell Square, O’Connell Street and Barrack Street. The parade will terminate at the Garraunakilla Car Park in the Market where musical entertainment will be provided by the Ennis Gospel Choir and bands from the Clare Youth Service bands until 4.00 pm.
Mayor Coote Ryan and Mayor of Langenfeld Frank Schneider will lead the parade in a horse-drawn carriage, which will be followed by 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare. There will also be artistic, cultural and sporting groups participating in the parade together with schools, boy scouts and a range of community groups.
Special traffic management arrangements will be in place involving road/street closures, restricted access to the parade route and traffic diversions. Limited car parking is available at Ennis Courthouse for parade participants only while public parking will be prohibited on the New Road and at Áras Contae and Chláir. All other public car parks throughout the town are being made available for parking. The co-operation of the public is requested and vehicle owners are asked to observe the road/street closures which will be in place from 8.00 a.m. to 2.30 pm.