AS MANCHESTER gets ready for St Pat’s weekend, an estimated 200,000 visitors are expected to have taken part in this years’ Manchester Irish Festival, since it got underway on Friday.
Organisers claim the Festival is Europe’s biggest outside Ireland, with over 200 events taking place over the course of the 10-day event.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday forms the centrepiece of the city’s celebrations. This year’s event includes a three-hour TV broadcast in Albert Square at midday linked to New York’s St Pat’s party.
BBC Radio Manchester will be broadcasting the build up to the Parade launch from 11am to 1pm and there will also be an attempt to get parade goers to perform an Irish style ‘Harlem Shake’ led by dancers from the Reel Rhythm group.
Manchester St Pat’s weekend features events across the city, with five main festival hubs in the City Centre, Cheetham Hill, Chorlton, Fallowfield and Levenshulme involving 100 venues who will be staging events.
Headline music acts will wrap up the weekend of celebrations with performances from The Script, The Furey’s and the Dublin Legends.
A number of iconic landmarks have already ‘gone green’ throughout the city as part of Tourism Ireland’s global campaign, such as the Town Hall Clock and the Irish Festival Market. An extensive music, art, theatre and education programme includes a number of groups and bands aiming to promote the year-long ‘Gathering in Ireland’ campaign.
Kevin Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the annual Manchester Irish Festival, said: “This year’s festival has a fantastic line up and it looks like being our biggest festival to date.”