Bray’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival commenced with the arrival of Bird’s Euroshow Funfair on Friday 13th March. Everyone’s favourite thrilling rides returned to the seafront once again. There was something for thrill-seekers and daredevils alike, along with some tamer rides catering for smaller children. Saturday afternoon’s Big Funday Out proved to be a success again this year with dancers from Berry Dance Academy showcasing their amazing Irish Dancing reels and jigs and face painters were also on hand to give the kids a patriotic make over. Fantastic day out with fun for all the family.
The sun was shining on Sunday morning which attracted over a hundred children down to The Boathouse Céilí Breakfast on the seafront. Again dancers from Berry Dance Academy gave a helping hand to teach the youngster’s a jig or two, after a morning of jumping around and kicking their legs in the air they were treated to a juice and breakfast roll compliments of The Boathouse. Sunday evening;s Fireworks Display had a huge turnout with the spectacular display lighting up the skies over Bray Harbour. Monday was also eventful with new event Bray Head Walk booking out the week before. Walkers were provided with a tour guide and treated to beautiful views of Bray. The Strand Hotel hosted a Ceol agus Craic event on Monday evening with Beef and Guinness Stew and Traditional Irish Music making it a wonderful Irish experience.
Tens of thousands descended on Bray for the Parade on Monday which kicked off at 3pm. Over 50 groups participated this year making it one of the largest to date. There were a large number of bands and dance troupes ensuring the crowd was well entertained. Artastic and Signal Arts Centre brightened up the parade with their colourful costumes while onlookers were dazzled with music and dance groups such as the Tallaght Festival Band and Rachel Fisher Hip Hop.
The winning participants were judged by our panel and were last night presented with a special award, the winners were as follows: Best Overall went to Berry Irish Dance Acadamy, Best Marching/Uniform went to Tallaght Festival Band, Best Community went to Bray First Responders, Best Art & Entertainment went to Bray Musical Society, Best Sports went to Bray Emmet’s GAA and Best Open went to Rachel Fisher Hip Hop.
The St. Patrick’s Day Art Competition was also a huge success and the winners were as follows:
Category 1, Junior and Senior Infants went to Cian Rushe from Senior Infants in St. Gerard’s Junior School, Category 2, 1st and 2nd Class went to Lauren Guerin from 1st Class in St. Fergal’s Junior School, Category 3, 3rd and 4th Class went to Conor Balmine from 4th Class in St. Gerard’s Junior School, Category 4, 5th and 6th Class went to Harry Dunne from 6th Class in St. Gerard’s Junior School. Best Overall winner also went to Harry Dunne from 6th Class in St. Gerard’s Junior School.
“The Festival is growing every year, we had some really great events on over the weekend and everyone in the town seemed to really enjoy them. We were very lucky with the great weather which attracted record numbers to all of our events. The parade was our largest to date and had more floats, colour and music than ever before. As a committee we worked tirelessly to ensure the people of Bray had a great St. Patrick’s weekend.” – Mick Glynn, Chairman, St. Patrick’s Festival Committee.
Bray’s St. Patrick’s Festival is proudly brought to you by Bray & District Chamber of Commerce,
Municipal District of Bray and Bird’s Euroshow Funfair.