Patrick’s Day Parade 2004 -
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:
Special thanks go to the following for making this a super successful
Read about how FedEx
saved the day here
Mr. David Carton, Grand Tours, Malahide, Co. Dublin, Ireland
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.
MARCHING BAND PARADE
|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
On St. Patrick's Day the world was
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
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
with mountain pines
reaching towards heaven
the lush green glens
with heather swaying
to Silgo and sweet
to Derry and blessed
to the green fields of
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
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.