St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2004 - Dublin, Ireland

IRELAND TRIP - The John F. Kennedy Shamrock Regiment went to Ireland for the 2004 St. Patrick Day Parade and Festivities.

The Band marched through the city of Nenagh Saturday afternoon and then gave a stand-up concert in the city park. Continuing on to Limerick, the Band participated in the Limerick International Band Festival by performing in a concert setting at the University of Limerick Saturday evening and then marching in the Parade during the day on Sunday. To top it off, the Band went on to Dublin and marched in the St. Patrick's Day Festival Parade. The Shamrock Regiment received First Place honors at both parades! In addition, the Band had a day to explore Dublin and on the way home two days to explore London.

Click below for Limerick Newspaper Article:

The Shamrock Dublin Gazette
Unofficial Itinerary
Issue #01
Day 1 – Travel
Issue #02
Day 2 - Malahide
Issue #03
Days 3 & 4 – Nenagh & Limerick
Issue #04
Days 5, 6 & 7 - Bunratty & Dublin
Issue #05
Days 8 & 9 - London
Issue #06
Day 10 – Travel & Home
Issue #07

Issue #08
Map of Ireland
Issue #09

Issue #10

Issue #11

Issue #12

Special thanks go to the following for making this a super successful trip:

Read about how FedEx saved the day here

Mr. David Carton, Grand Tours, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland
Cronin’s Coaches

Welcome to the Limerick International Band Festival

Limerick International Band Festival takes place annually in Limerick City in Ireland during the St. Patrick's Week festivities each March. This impressive and colourful music festival offers Marching Bands, Concert Bands, Drill & Dance Teams and Choirs from Ireland, Europe and around the world the opportunity to be part of an internationally recognised festival, a festival that was established over 32 years ago.

From early until late, life flows along briskly in the cultural capital of Irelands Mid-West. Limerick City's shopping, art, food, nightlife and cultural centres are a stroll away from the fresh air and charming views along the magnificent River Shannon, one of Europe's finest waterways, it was here that the city of Limerick, Irelands third largest city, was established in the 9th Century.  The healthy air of Ireland's western coast, combined with Limerick's fertile, unspoiled natural environment, make for an activity-seeker's pleasure ground. Horse-riding, golfing, walking, sea-angling, sailing, cruising and water-sports are among visitors' favourite pastimes.

Limerick is just a couple of hours away from the Cliffs of Moher, the Lakes of Killarney and Galway Bay, it is an ideal base from which to venture forth and discover all of the island of Ireland.


This event, which is the highlight of the festival weekend, attracts large numbers of Bands from USA, Britain, France, Holland, Italy, Russia, Japan and almost every county in Ireland, to provide entertainment for the 40,000 to 50,000 people who line the parade route. All categories of bands may compete, and the beat and rhythm of the music pervades the City. Colour and excitement are also created by the sweeping flags and precise routines of the pom-pom and baton carriers. The Parade is reviewed by the Mayor of Limerick, Government Ministers, and Civic Dignitaries.

There are Junior & Senior, Home & Overseas Competition in each category. The competition is judged by an esteemed international panel of adjudicators.

St. Patrick's Festival

History of St. Patrick's Day
Map of Ireland

On St. Patrick's Day the world was Irish! What better place to be than Dublin for the best parade in the world. 3,500 performers presented an inspirational show of pageantry, music, pomp and ceremony. This year's Parade theme was, Glorious, refers to the colours, the stories, the music, the costumes and the weather on the day certainly lived up to the name!

The battle-harp announced the arrival of Francis Morgan’s Glory Train and a bejewelled chariot arrived with the liberating hero in dazzling golden armour. Shackled faceless slaves towed a huge caged prisoner. Guards joking and laughing huddled, oblivious to the waifs and orphans competing for scraps on the streets.

Regular visitors to the parade, the Inishowen Carnival Group always surprise and thrill parade viewers. This year
saw a glistening shoal of tropical fish trying to dodge boats and nets while mermaid queens and Neptune’s Army
dance with sonar whales and electric eels. There were also bouncing jellyfish and star sailors twirling gracefully
along on eight foot high stilts.

Storici Sbandieratori delle Contrade de Cori, Italian flag-wavers, from Cori, a town near Rome, brought the medieval art of flag waving to 21st Century Dublin. Since 1976, the group have perfected the choreography of the tossing and exchanging of flags, performing everywhere from Cuba to Peru and Tokyo.

This is the second year that popular Galician Bagpipe Band from Madrid, Lume de Biqueira entertained the festival crowds. We were delighted to welcome them back to play their lively Galician and Austrian pieces along with Scottish and Irish jigs. Wexford's Bui Bolg took us back to the magical days of Cu Chulainn with this epic clash of the ash. Towering above the streets, the House of Chulainn was divided as the supporters set this "stadium on wheels” alight, with passion. A clever and colourful pageant from one of the festival’s annual participants.

Model-making students at IADT were commissioned by the festival to produce fantastical creatures representing the four elements of nature- Earth, Air, Fire and Water. In magnificent colour- each element was symbolised by birds, fish, dragons and beasts.

A glorious parade wouldn’t have been complete without the most glorious of animals. A 20ft lion is on the prowl from the town of Arras in France. The lion is the symbol of the town and was inspired by a bronze statue on the top of the belfry of Arras.

Omagh Community Arts Initiative brought us a Bohemian Rhapsody in Wonderland where Alice in Wonderland meets Freddie Mercury in a surreal feast singing and dancing to satisfy all the senses.

Artastic presented Knicker Bocker Glorious, a bunch of hungry but friendly disco monsters had taken over the streets in a mad search for ice cream. Beware anything or anyone was likely to become a desert!

Back by popular demand- Puca –the all time parade favourite - returned in 2004. Through coloured smoke the magical dragon winded through the streets, towering over every child and adult he meets. There is no place to hide. Puca see’s everything but don’t be afraid.

Echoing the legend of Diarmuid and Grainne Barrio Seanchae had sculpted 6 beautiful steel and wrought iron centrepieces to represent the glory of dawn. 100 performers animated the intricately-carved centrepieces, drawing on key elements of selected stories, poems and songs that relate directly to the moments just before and after sunrise.

Masamba brought the style and beat of Brazilian Carnaval to the 2004 parade. Exotic animals and birds of the rainforest danced their way along with the Indian King and Queen in spectacular Brazilian plumage playing Samba-enredo - a music style specific to Carnaval.

There’s nothing quite as glorious as victory, especially after a good old-fashioned siege. Ready for action…Waterford Spraoi brought a farcical group of knights led by their master Lord Astaire. Terms of surrender were offered to anyone who looks sideways at them.

Also taking part in this year’s parade were 9 marching bands from Europe and the USA and two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and Canadian flag bearers celebrated the many ties between Ireland and Canada.

The Vintage and Veteran Car Owners Club, Southern Volks Folks - Ireland's largest VW owners club along with

the Goldwing motorbikes, rounded off the 2004 parade with their usual flare and pizzazz.

by Gods loving hand
He gave us sweet Erin
from the embattled streets of Belfast
to the rocky hills of Cavan
with mountain pines reaching towards heaven
the lush green glens with heather swaying
to Silgo and sweet Donagal
to Derry and blessed Kerry
to the green fields of Mayo
to grand ole Dublin hustle and bustle
to the loving flow of the blessed Shannon
down to the sandy shore of Cork
where the gulls play
for it be our gift from heaven above
given to us whole and free
sweet Erin it be


Did you know… The first Atlantic cables (1858, 1865, 1866) and many subsequent ones originated in Valentia, Ireland? – click here for map.