500,000 paint the city green for St Patrick's Day
DUBLIN is a sea of green today as half-a-million people flock to the city centre to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.
After 18 months of planning, the extravagant celebration was brought to a dramatic climax with the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade bringing a carnival atmosphere to the capital city.
Channelling this year’s theme ‘Celebrate Now’, marching bands and floats from as far away as Mexico and Germany travelled the 2.6km parade route from Parnell Square to St Patrick’s Cathedral.
This year’s Grand Marshal, Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll, revealed that he was looking forward to his grandchildren watching on as he led the historic festivities.
“I just have to get in the car and do what I’m told, wave in all the right places and hopefully by the time I get to the President I’ll have enough energy left to salute him,” he told the Herald.
“It’s a great feeling to know that my five grandsons will be sitting in the VIP stand watching me. Once I pass them, I’ll be happy.”
The comedian (59) said he was honoured to be named as Grand Marshal.
“I’m someone who at six or seven years of age ran down from Stoneybatter, in plastic sandals with no socks, and stood in the cold watching the parade go by not for one moment thinking that one day I’m going to be leading that parade.”
The famous Dubliner said that leading one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades in the world is a walk in the park for him compared to his day job on Mrs Brown’s Boys.
“It’s a proud day but also a very fun day.
“I didn’t expect it to be as intensive as it was but I also didn’t expect it to be so enjoyable,” he said.
“The producers and organisers take a lot of the burden off so you only have to do what’s really necessary – it’s much less stressful than filming Mrs Brown’s Boys, but just as much fun.”
The festivities kicked off last night with the magnificent Les Poupees Geantes – three giant dolls created and presented by a French theatre company winding their way through Grafton Street.
The ornate divas dressed in elaborate petticoat costumes were brought to Dublin especially for the festival and delivered haunting operatic melodies as the crowds watched.
They measure five meters in height and three in diameter.
This year’s theme of Celebrate Now sees a dizzying array of parades, festivals, concerts, fireworks and even sea displays planned nationwide.
The skies looked ominous but the rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands who turned out.