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100,000 party with Patrick and Canice

by Edited by Jimmy Rhatigan

IT’S official.

An estimated 100,000 visited our city of patron St Canice to celebrate with St Canice.

The fantastic influx over a six-day festival saw some 40,000 people cram into local streets to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as it returned after a three-year absence due to Covid restrictions. 

Bathing in glorious sunshine, visitors and locals loved the free live music on the Festival Bandstand, carnival rides like the Big Wheel overlooking our entire city and great festival street food at the market stalls plus lots of street shows and workshops. 

A highlight was an American Marching Bands that performed in front of Kilkenny Castle.

Cute Boy is top dog in Cats’ Parade. Pic by Dylan Vaughan

 The Illini, one of the largest marching bands in the USA, also paraded through our streets before performing to huge crowds, including children from local schools festooned in green, white and orange. 

The awesome Arounders, a mixed age band from St Petersburg, Florida also performed, making it the biggest performance of American marching bands Kilkenny has ever seen.

Standing room only at super St Patrick’s Festival. Pic by Dylan Vaughan


Live videos saw festive Kilkenny flashed into homes in the US and many other countries.

The videos have been watched 85,000 times, with one video having over 36,000 views. 

The parade theme was Run with the Wolves, based on Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated Wolf Walkers was well represented by community groups with a central float by Bridget B Designs the highlight. 

The Grand Marshal, Irish Paralympian Mary Fitzgerald led the parade.

On the review stand were Minister Malcolm Noonan TD and visitors from two of Kilkenny’s twin-towns-Kilkenny, Minnesota and Formigine, Italy.

Thirty groups marched in the parade and people lined the street from John’s Street to the Market Yard with crowds near the reviewing stand almost 10 deep.

Festivities continued over the weekend with over 3,000 watching the fireworks display in the Castle Park on Friday. 

The pyrotechnics lit up the night sky over the iconic Kilkenny Castle and raised funds for the local St Vincent De Paul Society.


High jinks on Canal Square Bandstand. Pic by Dylan Vaughan
Fantastic fireworks Extravaganza. Pic by Robby Berry

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