AROUND 90,000 people are expected to attend Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Festival tomorrow when Digbeth High Street will be turned green for the annual celebration, writes Ryan Smith.
Tomorrow will mark the 67th annual event which is the world’s third largest St Patrick’s Day parade behind New York and Dublin.
The parade begins at midday, starting at Camp Hill Island.
St Patrick – aka Len Dale – will lead the procession of organisations, including Samba bands, dance schools, sports teams and classic cars from High Street to St Martins Church.
There will also be live music from more than 50 musicians, including contemporary folk bands, such as Lampa The Deluge and Salt Creek, and acclaimed Irish singer Finbar Furey.
Furey will kick off the live music at 1.35pm with the first of two headline sets at the ‘St Pat Rocks’ venue and singer songwriter James Reidy will also be performing as well as traditional groups.
There will be additional live music across Digbeth at partner venues including The Big Bull’s Head, The Old Crown, The Spotted Dog and The White Swan.
An Emerald village will be available for the children to enjoy, featuring the Bob Wilson funfair a Formula 1 car simulator and a small petting zoo.
Mad Dom will also be around the village to entertain the kids throughout the day.
Digbeth has recently described as ‘the heart of the Irish in Birmingham’ by Irish President Michael D Higgins.
The chair of St Patrick’s Festival Birmingham, Peter Connolly, said: “The festival family has worked especially hard this year to ensure there’s something for everyone as part of the programme.
“Our St Pat Rocks music offering has gone from strength-to-strength since 2015, and we look forward to raising a glass to one of the greats of Irish Folk Music, Finbar Furey, on the day.
“The support from our community, from local and Irish businesses, and from the city we love an work in all help to keep this incredible civic event growing in size and ambition each year.”
Visit stpatricksbirmingham.com for more information.