Luton St Patrick’s Festival

Irish singer-songwriter Lee Matthews will headline this month’s St Patrick’s Festival in Luton which starts on Saturday 12 March.
Lee Matthews

Irish singer-songwriter Lee Matthews will headline this month’s St Patrick’s Festival in Luton which starts on Saturday 12 March.

It will take place in the UK Carnival Arts Centre with live entertainment from Maeve Farrell, The Brooks Academy of Irish Dance and The Connemaras from 8pm. Festivities will begin with a pre-parade mass by Sean O Riada, sung in at 9.30am in the Our Lady Help of Christians Church led by the Luton Irish Forum Choir, followed by entertainment in Luton’s Market Hill.

From 10am to 4pm, Lee Matthews (pictured) will be on the main stage, performing some of his most famous hits alongside London-based Irish musicians, The Good, The Bad and The Ginger, award winning traditional musicians John, Joe and Caz Devine with Eugene Teevan and The Cunningham Family Dancers, launching the St Patrick’s Parade.

The Parade will start at 11am, with the Luton Irish Forum Emerald Pipe Band leading the way through the streets of Luton, concluding at Market Hill with the annual presentation of shamrock.

The celebrations will continue inside in ‘The Mall’ with music from Clara Byrne and the Leagrave Comhaltas traditional musicians with Irish dancing from the Brooks Academy of Irish Dancing and many more.

Festival Committee Volunteer at Luton Irish Forum, Noreen Kellett MBE said: “At the beginning it was a very small parade, we had one band and a small audience, but the St Patrick’s Festival has come a long way towards uniting the Irish Community in Luton.

The Festival has always made an effort to embrace the Luton community in all of its diversity, with local people from all cultures and beliefs eager to dress up and walk in the parade every year.” St Patrick’s Day itself will mark the end of the Festival, with St Patrick’s Day celebrations held at the Luton Irish Forum from 11am with entertainment from Spectrum Radio’s Gerry Byrne and the Finbarr Conway Academy of Irish Dancing as well as music from The Wilsons and Sean Furey (of the Skivers).

Luton Mayor Councillor Dave Taylor said: “The St Patrick’s Day Festival has made an immense impact on the way in which different cultures within Luton unite.

The Festival gives the Irish community the opportunity to show off their culture and heritage through traditional music and dance, encouraging people from all backgrounds and communities to take part in the celebrations.”

For tickets or more information on any of the events please contact Luton Irish Forum on 01582 720 447 or visit the Luton Irish Forum website www.lutonirishforum.org or find details on Facebook.

Tickets for ‘The Launch Party’ can be purchased online at www.billetto.co.uk

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