The Cork St. Patrick’s Festival 2015 has come to a close, culminating in the spectacular festival parade and award ceremony. Some 65,000 spectators took to the city’s streets to cheer on more than 60 groups and 3000 parade participants who were taking part.
Best Overall Entry was awarded to the Middle Parish and Coal Quay Historical Society, which was established in 2009 to research and record the unique parish’s rich heritage, culture and tradition. Affectionately known as the “shawlies”, they caused quite a stir on the parade route today, with a pig’s head among their displayed wares.
The bright and colourful United Filipino Irish Association won Best Dance Group, while Best Sports Group was awarded to Rebel Wheelers, a volunteer organisation founded and run by parents for children with physical disabilities.
The inimitable Cork Barrack Street Band won the Best Music Group, well known as the “Barracka”. Some 120 participants from the band took part in this year’s parade.
Best Commissioned Entry was awarded to Dowtcha Puppets, who based their impressive creation on the story of the Celtic Tiger.
Grand Marshal George Hook led the parade on foot, along with Lord Mayor Cllr Mary Shields. The theme of this year’s parade was Cultural Concepts.
Commenting on the success of this year’s parade, the Lord Mayor said: “This year’s Cork St Patrick’s parade was a real celebration of the diversity of cultures who have made this city their home. It was a spectacular display of colour, creativity and character on the streets of Cork. It has been a fantastic festival, with the inimitable George Hook as a very popular Grand Marshal, and it was great to see the city come out in such style.”
The adjudicating panel for the awards consisted of: Con O’Donnell, Community and Enterprise, Cork City Council; Jenny Monks, Head of Textiles at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, and Yvonne Quilligan from Cork City partnership.
Other festival highlights this year included the markets, the food map, live performances throughout the weekend and the Paddy’s Night Fleadh, which takes place in the Opera House at 8.00pm tonight. For more information, see http://www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie/