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St. Patrick’s day pageantry

Every year, on the 17th of March, the streets of Dublin are flooded with people from all over the world. Amongst the sea of green, on the crowded curb, the vibrant colours and towering floats create a magical atmosphere as Ireland showcases it’s captivating creativity.

People from all over the world come to immerse themselves in this unique celebration of irish culture and heritage.

Thousands of the country’s most creative and enthusiastic people join forces to create the spectacle that is the St. Patrick’s day parade. The Inishowen Carnival Group are one of the many groups involved. They have travelled to the capital for over 20 years to perform on the day.

Consisting of over 100 performers from across Donegal, the group is mostly made up of volunteers from three local dance groups; Aisling Dance Academy, Dynamic Waves and transition year students from Carndonagh Community School.

Kevin O’Neill, the group’s artistic director, spoke to The Liberty about the group’s pageant for this year’s parade. Their performance is called ‘Spiky Tribe’, for which they have created a fantasy spiky world full of inflatable trees, plants and buildings for their tribe to perform in.

Kevin gave us a taste of what’s to come: “It will be a feast of intense colour and movement, vibrant sparkling props and costumes, lots of flags and bouncing dance music.”  

Creating the pageant takes a lot of hard work, the group started work for the St. Patrick’s day parade late November even before they had their final contract agreed.

Kevin said: I have been working on ideas for this parade since last April but the design process properly started last September and I have been working on prototypes since then.”

The weeks leading up to the performance can be very intense, it involves a lot of organising and intense rehearsals.

We rely on the group’s skill, commitment and experience to present a stunning performance on the day,” he added.

Over the past 20 years the group have left the thousands spectators in awe and this year’s performance is set to wow yet again.

“It’s always great seeing the ideas come together on the street,” Kevin said. “After months of planning, getting out on the streets of Dublin and performing to the huge crowds is a fantastic reward for all the hard work.”

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