Where to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Nottingham
IRISH eyes will be smiling (and probably going just a little bit out of focus due to the Guinness) this weekend as Nottingham pulls out all the stops to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
With a colourful parade and a line-up of fab family entertainment in the Old Market Square – and as the big day happens on Sunday, a huge crowd will be gathering to, er, make merry.
This is the 14th annual parade and festival celebrating Ireland's patron saint in Nottingham.
"With it being held on a Sunday, the event is expected to draw even larger crowds than previous," says spokesman Paul Curtis. "We could have 10,000-plus lining the route and gathered in the Old Market Square."
The parade will start gathering at Forest Recreation Ground from around 11am – before the two-mile walk to the city centre. This year County Kerry leads the procession and Chief Marshall will be Donal Murphy, a Kerry man now living in the city.
Schools – including Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and St Mary's School in Bulwell and the Good Shepherd, Arnold – will also take part.
Also there will be Nottingham St Barnabas' GAA, the Nottingham Branch of Comhaltas Ceoiltiri Eireann, the Nottingham Irish Golf Society, Celtic Supporters Club, Golden Shamrock Club, Nottingham Irish Studies group, the Nottingham Irish Set Dancing group as well as the Dancing Academy of Glenndaragh and the McManus School. Look out for Mick Carty's traditional Irish themed float, complete with steam engine.
Trinity School Band, Nottingham Police Band, The Tartenaires and the Zumba band will provide the music.
The parade will be greeted in the Old Market Square by Nottingham Lord Mayor Councillor Leon Unczur and dignitaries including the First Secretary of the Irish Embassy, the Bishop of Nottingham Malcolm McMahon and the Deputy Mayor of Kerry. Entertainment in the Square gets under way from 11.30am with Irish music and entertainment. Headliners will be Irish ballad group Na Fianna.
Meanwhile, Nottingham hosts a selection dance on April 13 to choose a representative to compete in the famous Rose of Tralee competition.
9.30am: Church of Our Lady and St Patrick's in the Meadows, celebrated by the Bishop of Nottingham, Malcolm McMahon.
9.45am: Parade assembly begins at Forest Recreation Ground.
Noon: Parade sets off along Mansfield Road, Milton Street, Upper Parliament Street, Queen's Street and into Old Market Square.
1pm: Greeting of the parade.
Old Market Square
11am: Bella Diva
11.30am: Na Fianna
12.30-1pm: Civic greetings
1pm: McManus Irish Dancers
1.20pm: Trinity School Band
2pm: Nottingham Set Dancers
2.20pm: Glendarragh Irish Dancers
2.40pm: Tartanaires Showband at the Water Feature
2.55pm: Na Fianna
All Day: Variety of market stalls.
City Gallery, Long Row
Forty Shades of Green Exhibition: singing from Bella Diva, storytelling for children by Deirdre O'Byrne. From 4pm, learn the Irish language. Admission free.
Bell Inn: Music from Ged Dowling, and in the Tudor Bar all afternoon.
Greyfriars, Gordon Road: 10am: "Big Green Fry Up." Music all day from Three's a Crowd. 8pm: Eamon McCann and his Band, £10.
Keogh's Irish Bar, Mansfield Road: Irish music all day. Barbecue and food all day. 8pm: Na Fianna
Nottingham Irish Centre: Music food, drinks specials all day. 3pm: Celtic vs Inter Milan 1967 European Cup Final. 8pm: Durty Linen.
The Pelican, Bilborough: 8pm: Irish disco, with food. Free.
The Approach, Friar Lane: Special menu from 10am. 4pm: Open mic session. Evening – Live music with Growling At The Badger and the Richie Muir Band, free.