REPEATED 2pm Bank Holiday Monday April 1 – St Patrick’s Parade 60 minute special
This years’ 2013 Manchester Irish Festival set a new record for attendance this year as over One hundred thousand people lined the three mile route from the new Irish World Heritage Centre into Albert Square in the city centre. The ten day festival with over 200 events at 100 different venues is Europe’s biggest Irish Festival and is now the third biggest Parade in the world, following behind Dublin and New York.
PL Civil Engineering were this year’s Parade sponsor and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Elaine Boyes and Sir Peter Fahy, Manchester’s Greater Police Chief were just some of the VIP’s leading the Parade into the city centre.
Tony Hennigan the press officer for the festival said “It was an historic occasion as well our best ever parade. This was the first time that the parade had started from the £5 million Irish World Heritage Centre and it looked like the whole of Manchester had come out to greet it. The BBC broadcast a three hour live broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester to mark the occasion and a full camera crew from Irish TV in County Mayo fly over to capture the event and broadcast it around the world live to an estimated 1 million viewers.”
Whilst Dublin saw a little bit of Rain and New York was besieged by Snow, the sun broke through the clouds in Manchester to put a warm smile on the 1,000 participants. Just over 70 floats, seven marching bands, numerous Irish dancing Schools plus a flotilla of vintage tractors and the occasional donkey entertained the crowds on the three hour route.
The ten day festival saw just over 200,000 visitors enjoy the celebrations with an estimated revenue of £10 million being generated by the Irish extravaganza which is organised by a small group of community volunteers. This year the festival marked the 2013 Gathering in Ireland by turning its landmark buildings green and teaming up with Tourism Ireland and Ireland.com who were one of its main sponsors along with the Irish Post, Guinness and Heineken.
The St Patrick’s Day celebrations continued until the early hours of the morning with likes of The Script, The Dublin Legends and The Fureys all playing headline gigs in the city whilst a host Post Parade parties took place in the five main hubs in the City Centre, Cheetham Hill, Chorlton, Fallowfield and Levenshulme.The festival was brought to a close on Monday 18 March.
Wythenshawe FM had a car in the Parade for the very first time you can catch all the Action at 10pm Wednesday 20th March 2013.