Athenry 2020 Digital St Patrick’s Day Parade

News Release

The Corona Virus may have dealt a huge blow to the traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but the town of Athenry has decided to think outside the box and take its St Patrick’s Day parade online!

“If the audience can’t gather to see us, let us reach out digitally to our audience If the people can’t come to the Parade, let’s take the Parade to the people” explains Máire Daly, chairperson of Gliondar, Athenry Community Arts Group, who came up with the solution of live streaming their parade performance, and inviting the public to create and film their own parades at home and post them on Facebook to “Athenry2020 Digital St Patrick’s Day Parade”.

Máire then approached the Athenry Community Council, who organise the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and they loved the idea.  As with every year, prizes, sponsored by Athenry Credit Union, will be awarded for the best entries. These coveted prizes, original works by local Artists (this year’s artist is Anita Dillon), are specific to each year and dated as such. 

So how do you join in?  It’s simple – just shoot, stream and share your parade entry on the Facebook event page “Athenry 2020 Digital St. Patrick’s Day Parade” on St Patrick’s Day (before 6pm to be eligible to win their prizes). 

Máire says “we are inviting groups and individuals to re-imagine and play with the idea of the St. Patricks Day Parade – maybe do it in your driveway instead of on the streets, film your band practice, choirs, cats, dogs, comedy, political, drive-by floats –  anything at all.  Your imagination is the only  limit… oh and it has to be family friendly.  You don’t have to be from Athenry, and we look forward to seeing if our friends around the country and beyond, will rise to the occasion”.

Gliondar’s own parade segment is a collaboration with the Galway 2020 commissioned project Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann and Heneghan’s Nursery, which will see participants dressed in wearable fields of green.  During March Ukrainian artists Dasha Tsapenko and Nazar Gresko of the art and design atelier PROSO have been artists in residence with Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann, hosted in Heneghan’s Nursery Athenry and Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr.  Together with community volunteers, they have been busy sowing and growing chia grains to sprout into wearable fields of leafy greens. These are, as Dasha explains “a wearable piece of nature designed for Ireland’s rainy climate, which will appear as jewels of emerald green in Athenry’s rain and wind”.

The parade will also include the Athenry2020 Drummers, who will revive their Galway 2020 Opening Ceremony drumming performance.

Chairperson of Athenry Community Council, Shelly Herterich Quinn said:

“Not even the threat of COVID-19 can stop Athenry celebrating St Patrick’s Day. I can’t wait to see the entries to promote some fun for St Patrick’s Day. Go n-éirí an t-ádh libh go léir.”

To join in, people are asked to perform their entries in their own location, film them and post to the Facebook event page at Athenry2020 Digital, St. Patricks Day Parade.

For more information contact the Athenry St. Patricks Day Page, or or call Shelly on 087 2871355