By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH – With warm temperatures and the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, the St. Patrick’s Day parade and Moore Square celebration afterwards could be one of the largest such events in recent years, as several thousand people are expected to attend.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebration in Raleigh is the largest between Washington DC and Savannah, Georgia and is now celebrating its 30th year.
The parade usually includes everything from antique cars to floats to marching bands to animals to local celebrities and much, much more.
What time does the Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day parade start? This year’s parade once again starts at 12pm noon on Saturday, March 17th and will wind through downtown Raleigh and end at Moore Square, which is at the intersection of Blount and Hargett Streets downtown.
There will be traditional Irish dancing, music, beer sales, food, arts and crafts, and other fun events in Moore Square Park on Saturday from 10am to 9pm (see music schedule below). Streets will be blocked off to car traffic during that time, as vendors will be taking up part of Blount Street outside the park.
At the TirNaNog Irish Pub across the street from the park, there will be plenty of music, food, and fun as well. TirNaNog will have two music stages, one inside and one outside, with music from Barrowburn, Gerry McCrudden, The Gravy Boys, Dublin Down, and Hercules Mulligan among others.
The Wake District Pipe & Drums will also be playing bagpipe music at 9pm and 9:30pm.
Earlier this month, the Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced the winner of the 2012 Rose of Raleigh contest.
Katie Foley’s essay “What does your Irish heritage mean to you” won her this year’s title. Raleigh Mayor, Nancy McFarlane was on hand to present Katie and First Runner-up Bridget Madden.
For more information on the parade and other events, visit the St. Patrick’s Day Parade website at: www.raleighstpats.org
ST. PATRICK’S MUSIC SCHEDULE AT MOORE SQUARE
Shamrock ‘n Roll Stage
2:00 NC State Pipe & Drums
2:30 Tríonóide Academy of Irish Dance
3:00 Inis Cairde School of Irish Dance
3:30 Parade Committee Presentations
4:00 Rince na h’Eireann Irish Dance
4:30 Grace Christian Irish Dance Troupe
7:00 CARBON LEAF
Celtic Stage Schedule
1:45 National Anthems by Jamie Purnell
2:00 Eire Lingus
3:30 Rince Go Halainn Irish Dance Academy
4:00 School of Scottish Dance
4:45 James Olin Oden and Caitlin Cary