WITH St Patrick's Day just around the corner, festival organisers in the Australian city of Perth got an unexpected but welcome surprise when Bob Geldof agreed to kickstart the festivities on Sunday.
Geldof will be in Perth to promote the upcoming Boomtown Rats concert tour, which will mark the first time that the group has performed together in almost 30 years.
Dublin's celebrations will also be sprinkled with a little stardust with former Westlife singer Nicky Byrne acting as Grand Marshal of the parade.
Nicky – who has been trying to break into TV – was chosen because of his "outstanding contributions to the music industry" and is said to be excited at the opportunity to play a key role in the parade.
All around the world, festival organisers are reaching into the pool of the great and the good to find a parade headliner worth shouting about. New York's St Patrick's Day parade has been held since 1762, making it the oldest in the world.
It is also the biggest civilian parade in the world and headlining this mammoth event for 2013 is Alfred E Smith IV – a Wall St tycoon and the CEO of AE Smith Associates which he founded in 2009. He is also the great-grandson of the legendary Al Smith, the four-time Governor of New York.
The Hot Springs parade in Arkansas is famous for being the shortest in the world, in length rather than duration. It takes place on the 98ft long Bridge St, renowned for being "the world's shortest street in everyday use."
This year's festivities will be led by actress Bo Derek and actor John Corbett, who played Aidan in TV sitcom Sex And The City.