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Home   Medway   News   Article

Gillingham set to turn green for first St Patrick’s Day parade

15 March 2014
by Chris Hunter

Organisers are hoping all of Gillingham will turn out to enjoy the festivities this Sunday, March 16 – the day before Ireland’s national day on Monday, March 17.

Nevertheless, a strong Irish contingent is expected.

The Medway St Patrick’s group, itself borne out of the St Mary’s Social Club in Gillingham, says around 10 per cent of Medway’s population claim Irish heritage, and aims to make the day a proper celebration of Irish culture.

Children from Barnsole Primary School learn about Ireland and make banners

Children from Barnsole Primary School learn about Ireland and make banners

In England the event is often merely an excuse for pubs and clubs to run promotions of a popular brand of Irish stout, but events in Ireland extend beyond alcohol consumption to include parades, games, music and dancing – something the group hopes to replicate in Medway.

Starting at noon in Smiths Square in Gillingham High Street, the parade will be led by the Pentacle Drummers and include banners and decorations made by children at schools and libraries – most recently at Barnsole Primary School in Gillingham.

Youngsters prepare for the first St Patrick's Day parade for Medway

Youngsters prepare for the first St Patrick's Day parade for Medway

Festivities will then continue at the social club in Belmont Road, with dancing, music, hurling, language classes, face painting, and a family ceilidh – a traditional Gaelic celebration.

Winners of the St Patrick’s Day art competition will also be announced at the club.

Keep up to date on Twitter at @paradeagogo and at www.facebook.com/events/612756342112152.

For more information visit www.stpatricksdaymedway.org.uk

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