LIMERICK, Ireland – A 280-strong marching band from the University of Missouri will be among the 1,200 musicians taking to the streets of Limerick for the 46th Limerick International Band Championship from 12 noon on Sunday, 20th March.
Ireland’s only international band competition, which is run on behalf of Limerick City and County Council by Grooveyard Productions, was launched today (Monday, 7 March 2016) by Cllr. Liam Galvin, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick.
There are four US bands participating, including a 280-strong group from the University of Missouri, who will join 14 other groups from Northern Ireland, Kerry, Limerick, Westmeath, Dublin, Tipperary and Cork as they parade from Pery Square and down O’Connell Street to Arthurs Quay.
Each band will be afforded three minutes performance time in front of the review stand and all the bands will assemble for a jamboree in Arthurs Quay Park after they have performed. This year’s adjudication panel includes six internationally respected judges, including four from the United States.
At Arthurs Quay Park, Mayor Galvin will present the Championship prizes which this year includes the inaugural Kenneally Jewellers Perpetual Trophy for the ‘Overall Parade Champion’.
“Featuring a world class judging panel and attracting some 40,000 spectators to the City’s streets, the event celebrates the importance of music to the cultural heritage of Limerick,” said Mayor Galvin.
The Mayor continued, “This annual event has grown from strength to strength over the years and I look forward to welcoming musicians and their family members from Limerick, around Ireland and throughout the world to our city. The Championship is a wonderful promotional vehicle for Limerick and its national and international promotion as a city of culture as well as being an enticing place to visit.”
The Limerick International Band Championship forms part of a comprehensive St Patrick’s Festival in Limerick City, the centre point of which will be the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. 80,000 people are expected to line the streets of Limerick City from midday on March 17th for Ireland’s largest regional St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Parade will feature more than 4,000 participants from 100 different community groups, companies, bands and sports clubs from across Limerick and Ireland. The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Commemorate’, which seeks to promote Limerick’s legacy, its peoples and its places. Actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen has been announced as the Grand Marshall in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts in the Mid-West region.
Kieran Lehane, Director of Services, Limerick City and County Council paid tribute to the St. Patrick’s Festival organisers and sponsors in preparing a comprehensive programme of events.
“The Festival attracts huge numbers to the City as well as a growing number and variety of participants each year. The Council is delighted to play a leading role in showcasing the vibrant and diverse culture that exists in Limerick,” said Mr. Lehane.