St Patrick’s Day Parade makes a song and dance

By on 05/03/2010 in News

A mass singing event will add a high note to The UK's largest St Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday 14th March. 

As the pipes, drums and dancers come stomping to a halt music will fill the air as Birmingham choir, 'Notorious' lead the crowds in a traditional medley of Irish songs guaranteed to raise the roofs of the Irish Quarter!   

Over 50,000 visitors are expected to line the streets of Digbeth for this spectacular highlight of the five day St Patrick's Festival. As well as beautifully decorated floats there will be vintage motorbikes, classic cars and the fantastic Willie 'fergus' Finnegan's famous massed tractors. 

Walking groups will include boxing, football and rugby clubs, and there'll be a true taste of tinsel town in the glamorous guise of film star doubles.  American Civil War re-enactors, Samba bands, Dhol drummers and even Chinese Lion Dancers will join the weird and wonderful throng.

After the parade has passed by, the craic (Irish for fun and enjoyment) will continue at the 'Emerald Fringe' with a packed family-friendly programme.  Entertainments include buskers, magicians, clowns, and a children's disco at the Old Library and free style football activities taking place at the Irish Centre led by World Champion 'Nam the Man' from Dublin. A funfair will have children's only rides in Bradford Street while South Birmingham College will be hosting music workshops where children can get to grips with traditional Irish instruments.

The College is also the venue for St PatROCKS' concert, a storming success last year, and now back by public demand.  This year's headliners are Velvet Texas Cannonball, The Black Apples, The Carpels and one of the finest contemporary Irish bands around, The Father Teds to make this a romping stomping event to remember. 

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture said, “The St Patrick's Day parade is a major feature of Birmingham's events calendar.  Its culturally diverse programme draws communities, families and individuals together in an immensely positive and an extremely entertaining way.”

Kent Davis, St Patrick's Festival Committee spokesperson said, “The five day St Patrick's Festival promises to be the liveliest ever with the very best in Irish entertainment and culture.  Hosted by new and traditional venues across the city there'll be an amazing atmosphere with sights and sounds creating a true Irish spirit right here in Birmingham.”

The parade will leave from Camp Hill at around 12 noon on Sunday 14th March, making its way down High Street Deritend, past St Martin's church in the Bullring and back up the High Street, finishing at approximately 1.30pm in Alcester Street. 

The festival runs from 12-17 March, with events and entertainment at a number of locations across Digbeth.

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

For more information call 0121 634 1542 or 07725 433 063, or go to


Media contacts:
Debbie Harrison & David Middleton (for BCC) Kent Davis (for St Patrick's Festival committee)
0121 303 4476/3318 or 07766 923 352 0774 7037821

Notes to Editor:

1. Media accreditation - any media wishing to attend the event should register with Debbie Harrison or David Middleton on the details above.

2. Full programme is as follows (all events are free):
Friday 12th March
Festival launch at the Irish Centre 7pm (Free)
This is a ticketed event featuring music from The Holy Show, Disco, traditional dancers and a host of surprises.

Saturday 13th March:
Reel around Edgbaston Street - 12.00noon - 4.00pm
Whet your appetite for the big day with music from Reel Note, Cairde, dancing and more besides.  Presented by BBC WM's Jenny Jones.

Sunday 14th March

St Anne's Church 10.00am
Start the community celebrations at the first official event of the day.

The Parade
12noon to 1:30pm
The Parade leaves from Camp Hill, making its way down Digbeth towards Selfridges.  At the end of the Parade will be mass singing event led by by the Irish Centre and on Digbeth High Street.  Introduced by Bob Brolly from BBC WM and Birmingham based contemporary choir 'Notorious' , the songs will include Molly Malone and/or Danny Boy and a U2 song.

A road closure plan will be implemented throughout the day. Road Closures will be implemented at 6.00am with Digbeth High Street being re-opened by 4.00pm. Closures around the Irish Centre will be lifted at 7.00pm.
South Birmingham College (Free) 

2.30 pm  The Carpels – Indie-punk dance quintet

3.15 pm The Teds – The Festival folk favourites

4.00 pm  The Black Apples  – Garage boogie n blues trio

4.45 pm  Velvet Texas Cannonball – Psych-rock electric blues


Monday 15th March
Singin' I'm No a Billy, He's a Tim – The Paragon  7.30pm
Performed by NPL Theatre, this comedy revolves around Billy, a Ranger's fan, and Tim, a Celtic supporter, being locked up together on the day of the Old Firm match.
16+ Contains strong language

Tuesday 16th March
 Two brand new Birmingham St Patrick's Festival events.

Irish Film Night
The Spotted Dog, Warwick Street

• Everlasting Piece
• The informer
• Dancing at Lughnasa

Irish Literary Festival
The Old Crown Inn, Heathmill Lane 7.00pm

An easy introduction to Irish literature looking at the contribution made to the world's literary heritage made by Irish playwrights, poets and authors.

Wednesday 17th March

Irish Storyteller
The Irish Centre 7.00pm

Irish storyteller Katrice Horsley makes a welcome return with her own wonderful brand of storytelling.

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