Luton St Patrick’s Festival Parade was blessed with sunshine last Sunday.
Hosted by Luton Irish Forum, Sunday’s parade day was attended by Luton Mayor David Taylor, Robert Shimmin Mayor of Houghton Regis and The Countess of Erroll, High Sherriff of Bedforshire. The Embassy of Ireland was represented by Don Sexton.
Three marching bands, several Irish and provincial county association groups, local GAA clubs, Comhaltas, business groups and the Polish-British Integration Centre resulted in a culturally inclusive and exciting parade.
Local Emerald Pipe Band performed a selection of Irish tunes as the procession and dignatories arrived at the main stage to a welcome from Luton Irish Forum Chairman Tom Scanlon.
Tom paid tribute to the parents of the large number of your participants this year including the overall winner for best pageant, Claddagh Gaels Ladies football team. Tom Moloney of Toureen Mangan Group one of the main sponsors, accepted the prize on behalf of Claddagh Gaels.
Don Sexton from Embassy of Ireland thanked the Luton Irish community for preserving awareness of Irish heritage in such a vibrant manner. Noreen Kellett of LIF presented shamrock to the dignatories. Earlier in the morning the traditional Sean O’Riada Mass was celebrated at Our Lady Help of Christians Church with a beautiful liturgy enhanced by members of Luton Irish Forum choir, directed by Derryman John Hutcheson.
The afternoon’s entertainment was hosted by Diverse Fm’s Jim Carway with local bands providing lively music and song and Sean Nos dancing and step dancing displays on outdoor stage at Market Hill.
Spectrum Radio’s Gerry Byrne will host entertainment on St Patrick’s Day at Luton Irish Forum from 11am-3pm with more music from local bands and Irish dance displays. To find out more about Luton Irish Forum visit: www.lutonirishforum.org.