Marching on with parade plans
Groups wishing to take part in this year's St. Patrick's Day parade in Wexford are reminded that they must fill out an application form before March 10 or risk being turned away on the morning of the parade.
Details of the 102nd annual parade in the town, were announced at the official launch in Wexford Credit Union which was attended by a range of organisations involved in the event which draws thousands of participants every year.
The town's St. Patrick's Day celebrations will begin with the traditional blessing of the shamrock at a civic Mass in Bride Street Church at 9 a.m. attended by the Mayor of Wexford and local TD's and councillors.
The parade will assemble in the area between Maudlintown and Trinity Street at 9.30 a.m. with a number of road closures in place from 9.15 a.m., from St. Brendan's road into Maudlintown, from the Maudlintown traffic lights into William Street and Trinity Street to the junction of Parnell Street/Trinity Street. No traffic will be allowed into this area until after the parade has started.
As the parade begins, the gardai will be closing streets along the route so the public are warned to expect delays and to arrive on time to view.
At the official launch, parade secretary John Fowler thanked people living in the assembly area for their co-operation over the years by leaving streets free of vehicles on the morning of the parade.
'We would ask once again for your co-operation this year and we are also asking for the same assistance in the area from the Talbot Hotel up to Trinity Street and Fisher's Row. Please do not park on the right or left hand side of the road', he said.
The parade will move off from Trinity Street at 10.45 a.m. sharp, travelling along William Street, Trinity Street, Paul Quay, Crescent Quay and Commercial Quay (with the reviewing stand located on the right hand side of the bridge) into Redmond Place and Redmond Square.
The secretary said the parade must start at 10.45 a.m. in order to finish by 12.30 p.m. before the next train arrives at 12.50 p.m. and also many of the bands taking part are contracted to go to other events in the afternoon.
People are asked to park well away from the route of the parade and to use car parks around the town. The same applies to people collecting children taking part in the parade. They are asked to make arrangements to meet away from the Redmond Square area.
The car park beside Wexford Tourist Office will be open during the parade along with the Arc cinema and Stonebridge car parks at the north and south end of the town.
As soon as the parade has started, pedestrians will not be allowed to walk back towards the parade from Redmond Square along the quays, to avoid congestion.
Traffic will not be allowed into Trinity Street from the junction with Parnell Street up to the traffic lights at Maudlintown from 9.15 a.m. until the parade has passed the area. The safety of the public is paramount, according to the secretary and any prop or installation which is considered by the parade safety officers to be a potential danger, will not be admitted.
'St. Patrick's Day is a fun and family-oriented day and we want everyone to enjoy it', said the secretary. 'It's a day when clubs and groups come together to show the people of Wexford what recreational facilities are on offer to their children. Whenever I hear anyone saying there is nothing to do in Wexford, I say, come out and watch the hundreds of organisations which parade every year in the St. Patrick's Day parade', he said, thanking principal sponsors Wexford District Council, Wexford County Council, Wexford Credit Union and the business community for their continued support.
The Wexford town parade is the oldest in the country, having started in 1904.
Application forms are available from www.wexfordparade.com or from the secretary on 087 9522795.