Heading into town for the St. Patrick's Day parade tomorrow? Grab your green hat, draw a few shamrock symbols and your cheeks and just think 'feck it', it's the kinda day where you have to go all out.
Here's legit everything you need to know about the parade tomorrow:
The parade takes place at 12 noon – so don't be late!
Get a good spot to see the parade weave its way through the heart of the capital city in a flourish of colour and flair. 500,000 people are expected to come out on the day to enjoy the Parade which Games of Thrones star Liam Cunningham will lead as Grand Marshal.
What's this year's theme?
Community groups and pageant companies from all over Ireland will come together to celebrate the parade theme Home Is Where the Heart Is. Oooh.
And there's some HUGE things planned...
The longest pageant by Buí Bolg measures155 metres in length and will feature 140 performers ranging in age from 16 to 60.
This year’s Parade will also see over 2,000 band members from far and wide deliver dazzling rhythms and uplifting music that will reverberate throughout the city’s streets. Leading the Parade with 310 members is the University of Illinois Marching Illini. Measuring 106 metres in length it will include five drum majors, twirlers, guards and Illnettes.
Bringing up the rear of the Parade will be Indiana’s Purdue “All American” Marching Band with 358 members featuring dancers with flags, pom poms and baton twirlers.
The Parade route measures an impressive 3.2 kilometres in length
Preparations for the Festival Parade can take up to two years of careful planning and set up begins before dawn on the day.
In numbers, you can expect...
17 kilometres of crowd control barriers, 1,800 man hours of security, 18,000 cable ties, 3 kilometres of cable and 20 generators will be used.
Over 70 cans of spray glue were used in the making of the floats for City Fusion and 250 volunteers help to make the Festival happen each year. These volunteers come from all around the world including places like Brazil, Korea, Taiwan. Woah.
Where does the parade actually go?
Starting on Parnell Square, the Parade will come down the east side of O’Connell Street (Clery’s side) moving on to O’Connell Bridge East and on to Westmoreland Street. The route has been extended and there is now viewing on Kevin Street; local residents and public using the LUAS green line and disembarking at St. Stephen's Green should consider availing of this viewing opportunity on Kevin Street.
And a few more things to be aware of:
The Festival Parade is a family friendly event and patrons are asked to be mindful of young children and the elderly and where possible facilitate their viewing. It is advised to plan ahead, dress appropriately for the weather and where possible to use public transport.