Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham holds St Patrick's Day parade

The O'Reilly family from Donegal
Image caption The O'Reilly family from Donegal are among the visitors

An estimated 60,000 people are attending Birmingham's annual St Patrick's Day parade, say organisers.

Along with New York and Dublin, it is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world and centres around the "Irish Quarter" in Digbeth.

Anne Tighe, chairman of the St Patrick's Festival Committee, said although numbers were down from last year the event was going well.

"There's a lovely atmosphere," she said.

She said last year was "massive" with about 90,000 attending the event but early estimates suggested the numbers this year were down.


"It's going really well. People seem to be enjoying the event, even though it is freezing cold, but it is dry," she said.

Ms Tighe said the cold weather and people doing other activities for Mother's Day may have led to fewer people attending.

Image caption Some marching bands came from Ireland for the parade

The theme of this year's event is the Irish contribution to Birmingham's development.

The parade, featuring hundreds of floats, carnival costumes and marching bands, took place for two hours until 14:00 GMT.

It started at Camp Hill and was led by the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums band.

Image caption The parade includes vintage vehicles, dancers, costumes and bands
Image caption The parade was expected to last two hours
Image caption Music was enjoyed throughout the event

Live music, street fairs, a market and children's events are also taking place.

Other celebrations are planned into the night, including performances from local bands and musicians, as well as artists visiting from Ireland.

The Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Shafique Shah, said: "Just as our Irish community here are proud to be Brummies, they now invite all Brummies to be Irish for the day and join in the wonderful celebrations".

The 19th annual event is the last one to benefit from £20,000 council funding, but organisers say it will retain its quality despite cuts.

Image copyright St Patrick's Birmingham

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