Mayoral hopeful Burnham leads Manchester parade
50,000 revellers enjoy sunshine and St Patrick’s cheer
In Manchester, organisers of the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade estimated that 50,000 turned out for a record-breaking event. Dance troupes, bands and floats started from the Irish World Heritage Centre in Irishtown in Cheetham Hill and made their way to Albert Square. The St Patrick’s Parade has been held annually since 1990.
The event is part of the Manchester Irish Festival, which this year celebrates ‘country pride’, exploring the roots and heritage of Ireland.
The theme of this year’s parade was ‘County Pride’, celebrating the roots and heritage of each of the 32 counties. The Longford Association was the first to display a county banner all those years ago and now all 32 counties are represented in the parade.
Local MP Andy Burnham who is running for election as Manchester’s Mayor helped lead the parade, marching alongside interim mayor Tony Lloyd and Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan.
The festival’s president, Councillor Pat Karney said: “It was a great day. We had a record turnout, thanks in part to the warm weather early on while the parade was going on. It was just fantastic.
“It was one of the best crowds yet, with about 50,000 coming out to celebrate.
“There were also hundreds of kids in the parade, who had spent weeks making their costumes, so it was a great day for them and the Irish community and with a record breaking crowd it shows that it is still the biggest in the UK.”