Popular parade to make St Patrick's Day in city
By Peter Warzynski
A sea of green, white and gold will sweep through the city again this weekend as thousands gather to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
The traditional annual parade will start at Holy Cross church, in New Walk, at midday on Sunday and snake its way through Leicester past the Clock Tower and finish at the big screen in Humberstone Gate.
More than 1,000 people, including dancers, standard bearers, sports clubs and Irish societies will be led by the West Midlands Fire Service Pipe Band during the procession.
Then, the festivities will carry on into the evening with pubs and bars welcoming revellers with a steady flow of Guinness and traditional music.
Organiser Tony Cusack, from the Emerald Centre, in Gipsy Lane, said: "I'm really looking forward to it – it just gets better every year.
"Seeing all the generations coming together, from all backgrounds and indeed cultures, and turning the streets of Leicester into a sea of green and parading through the streets in such a positive vibrant atmosphere is absolutely amazing – this makes me proud to be Irish."
Last year, hundreds of men, women and youngsters took part in the colourful parade during the day – waving flags, playing music and showcasing traditional dancing.
This year's festivities are starting early with a number of St Patrick's Day events taking place this week in the lead-up to the big day on Sunday.
Jackie Duffy, owner of Duffy's Bar, in Pocklingtons Walk, is putting on a range of Irish evenings, starting on Thursday.
She said: "We've got an Irish Myths and Legends evening on Thursday – I think I'm more excited about that any other part of it – the lady who runs it is captivating, it'll be amazing.
"St Patrick's Day is always fantastic and it's always so well supported.
"I love the parade, it's a great opportunity to show your support for the Irish community in Leicestershire."
O'Neills Irish pub, in Loseby Lane, is also hoping to attract revellers and has a number of events this week including an Irish jig world record attempt on Thursday, and Irish dancing at the bar on Sunday.
Other events include St Patrick's church, in Beaumont Leys Lane, which is hosting a special celebration mass on Saturday, at 11am.
Braunstone and District Working Men's Club, in Braunstone Close, will feature Irish band Echoes of Erin on Friday.
Tickets are £8.
In the city centre, a St Patrick's Day mass will be held at Holy Cross at 11am on Sunday, ahead of the parade.
For pictures of last year's procession, visit: www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk