St Patrick’s Day Parade – dragons, drums and giants

By on 11/03/2014 in Culture, Deputy Leader, News

A confetti blast will start the UK's largest St Patrick's Day Parade at 12 noon in Birmingham on Sunday 16 March. 

Led by six flag bearers, the theme this year is Irish Myths and Legends, bringing colour to stories from every county.  And with seven marching bands the streets will be filled with music.

The parade usually attracts around 80,000 visitors and thousands are again expected to line the streets of Digbeth for the spectacular highlight of the seven day St Patrick's Festival.

As well as beautifully decorated floats there will be vintage motorbikes, classic cars, steam engines, school groups, fantastic Willie 'fergus' Finnegan's famous massed tractors, an Irish Dragon and a golden horse.

In addition to the parade there will be a fair on Bradford Street and an Irish market in Green Street with a children's area featuring storytelling, a craft area, children's entertainer and mobile zoo. 

South and City College Birmingham will offer free events throughout the Digbeth campus, with live performances from Motorcity String Band, Lampa and much acclaimed The Father Teds.

The Custard Factory will be turned into an Emerald Village, showcasing the best of Birmingham's Irish Culture through food, drinks and live music.  Gibb Street  will host a dedicated family zone with crafts and food, including a waffle bar and hog roast.  The Old Library will be open to families for tea and there will also be a children's area in Stoneyard behind the Irish Centre.

Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, Cllr Ian Ward, said:  “Birmingham's St Patrick's Day Parade is the largest in the UK and offers a fantastic opportunity for people to come together.  The Parade is always spectacular and there is also plenty to see, do and eat in the Emerald Village at the Custard Factory.  Happy St Patrick's Day.”

Anne Tighe, Chair of the Festival Board of Directors, added, “This year's festival and parade celebrates our Irish culture and heritage.  Highlighting stories of mythical creatures, giants and heroes will be a lot of fun and we hope people will come and enjoy the craic.”

The festival and parade are organised by the Birmingham St Patrick's Festival Committee with support from Birmingham City Council and sponsors.

For more information call 0121 565 1049 or go to


For more media information, contact Debbie Harrison on 303 4476    

Notes to editors

Parade route and road closures –

The parade form up area will be at Camp Hill (top of Digbeth High Street) and will set off at approximately 12noon. proceed along Deritend on the out of city carriageway into Digbeth High Street, it will proceed along Digbeth, then left into St Martins Lane and proceed back down Moat Lane where it will turn left back onto Digbeth on the inner city carriageway. At the Alcester Street junction floats will proceed towards Camp Hill with marching bands turning into Alcester Street. The parade will finish at approximately 2pm.

An area around the Irish Centre consisting of Bradford Street, Birchall Street, Chapel House, Stoneyard, and Green Street will be closed to traffic. A road closure plan will be implemented throughout the day. Road Closures will be implemented at 6am with Digbeth High Street being re-opened by 4pm. Closures around the Irish Centre will be lifted at 6pm.

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