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St Patricks Day in Ireland

Two trends regarding St Patricks Day in Ireland have become obvious to me over the last couple of years.

The first one is that the 21st century has started to produce parades in virtually every and any little town and village.

Everybody wants to have their own shot at hosting their very own parade. Even if it covers barely a quarter of a mile and is all over in ten minutes. Why?

I think it's because of the second trend that I see- these days pretty much anything goes on St Patricks Day in Ireland. As you will discover on the photos below, parades still feature some of the obligatory items such as marching bands and kids playing the tin whistle, but there is a general acceptance now of St Paddys Day parades being an opportunity for self-expression.

Have a look here and see what self-expression Galway, Ireland has come up with!

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- a street artist directing Gardai.

Street art is big in Galway. Galway's own street theatre group Macnas, famous for their Arts Festival Parades feature at every parade with drums and street action. This street artist is fulfilling a long harboured wish- to order the Gardai (police) around!

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland, Irish dancing float

Irish dancing of course is a MUST on St Patricks Day in Ireland.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland, Galway hooker boat float. Galway hooker boat

The Galway Hooker boat, a big Galway symbol.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- camogie team in the parade.

Positive visualisation on behalf of this Camogie team. Reading the banner made me smile.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- judo girls

The cuteness factor. As every sports club wants to be present and visible in the parade, they bring out the sweetest tots.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland-Galway Community Circus

Galway Community Circus put on an impressive display. Incredible, the kind of stuff even kids can learn to do!

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- The  Samaritans

Charities, too, contribute to the parade, to raise awareness and much needed funds.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland-, people having a good time
Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- the Galway Claddagh ring symbol.

The Claddagh symbol, one of the big Galway symbols. No parade is complete without it!

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- revellers.

Dressing up and face painting in Galway is very easygoing, anything goes really. Come as you feel comfortable. This town is pretty informal.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- an antique travellers waggon.

The Irish Traveller Movement showcasing an antique travellers waggon at the parade, a piece of nostalgia.

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- tractors.

Some tractors, too. Well, anything goes...

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- a brief moment of sunshine
Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland- vintage car

...and a vintage car...followed by Tom Duffy's Circus who are currently in town...

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland-circus animals

...and throw in a dragon for good measure!

Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland-dragon
Paddy's Day in Galway, Ireland-kids playing tin whistle

This is what the old parades looked like, the ones you saw twenty years ago. It used to be ALL kids playing the tin whistle!

St Patricks Day in Ireland, a family posing to have their picture taken

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Warmest regards from Susanna and Colm.

Click here and here for more St. Patrick's Day photos.

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