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I love the way St Patricks Day brings the best out in people - a day when it is great fun to take part and celebrate being Irish.  And considering that our weather is totally unpredictable at the best of times, agreeing to take part in a St Patricks Day parade in Ireland in March is submitting yourself to the whims of the irish weather gods.  The day could mean sunshine and mild temperatures, or it could bring hail, rain, sleet and snow all in one hour.  And we never know what the day will bring until the morning actually arrives.  But even that doesn’t stop people getting out and celebrating. And with all the colour and excitement who cares about the weather.

But I have to say I always feel sorry for the American marching bands and Majorettes who travel here to celebrate with us - usually for the Dublin parade – they always look so healthy and tanned but slightly out of place and  frozen by our ‘mild’ March weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to see those marching bands here and as teenagers we loved spotting the good looking American teen boys march by!   But for St Patricks Day we Irish have only just dragged ourselves out from our dark wet winter so we always look slightly pasty and almost surprised to be out and about but at least we know what to expect from the weather.

Most towns here in Ireland have a parade on St Patricks Day.  The quality of the parade is down to the work of the groups, clubs and schools who volunteer to take part.  I have to say that Ennis did itself proud this year – the parade took over an hour and was full of music and colour. Those taking part covered every age group from toddler to senior citizen. And I am so glad that the parade includes a real “Mardi Gras” kind of feel in addition to the usual marching bands and floats.   I hope you like this selection of photos to give  you a taste of the parade.  Now if we could only get a few tanned good looking Americans to join us next year……