By Sean Ryan - 22 August, 2016
The future of one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parades outside of Ireland looks secure following the announcement of plans this week for a major fundraiser in Birmingham.
Last year Birmingham City Council announced cuts to grants for festivals including the St Patrick’s Day festival in the city which seriously threatened its future.
Now organisers of the parade, which is the third largest in the world outside of Dublin and New York, are planning a massive festival in Birmingham for 2017.
Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade and Festival organising team announced this week that the opening night will take place in the Holiday Inn, Smallbrook Queensway, on Friday, 3 March 2017 from 8pm.
In previous years, the launch was at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel.
The occasion will mark the beginning of the Birmingham St Patrick’s Festival and Parade 2017 with a “fantastic selection of traditional Irish entertainment, music and dance throughout the night.”
These will include an appearance from local Irish band ‘Reel Note’, who represented Culture Ireland at the World Expo in Milan earlier in 2016, as well as performing on the main stage in the Emerald Village at Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade 2016.
More acts will be announced in the coming weeks and months. Also on offer is a three-course meal, plus a fundraising raffle with top prizes up for grabs.
All proceeds from the evening will go towards securing the future of the Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade, following the withdrawal of all funding from Birmingham City Council.
Board member Peter Connolly said, “This is now our second year without any financial support from Birmingham City Council, but we’re determined that this year will be even better than previous years.”
He added, “The launch event is always a great opportunity for the community to come together, have a bit of craic and help raise some vital funds for the parade, and we’re really excited that the Holiday Inn is on board this year. The launch event is already shaping up to be a fantastic evening, so people should get their tickets booked now.”
Last year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival took place on Sunday 13 March in Digbeth, Birmingham and attracted over 75,000 visitors.