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Local, regional groups perform for 37th annual Lexington St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

Seven local and regional performance groups will be taking the Irish festival stage on Saturday, March 12, as part of the Lexington’s 37th annual Alltech St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival. The lineup features musicians, singers and dancers from across Kentucky.

The festival is part of an all-day celebration that begins at 8 a.m. with the 10th annual Shamrock Shuffle to benefit Lexington Habitat for Humanity. At 11 a.m., the annual “Blessing of the Keg” at the Alltech tents in Cheapside Park kicks off the free Irish festival. The parade begins at 1 p.m.

St. Patrick Day

“This year’s festival features a little bit of everything Celtic, including Irish dancers, Scottish pipers and some great bands, including one who mixes traditional Irish music with our more local bluegrass sound,” said Megan Moloney, vice president of the Bluegrass Irish Society and director of the Bluegrass Ceili Academy Irish dance school. “We’re excited to bring these great performers back to our Fifth/Third Pavilion stage for this free, family-friendly event.”

Dr. Seamus Carey, the 26th president of Lexington’s Transylvania University, has been named as the Grand Marshal of the parade.

The festival performances kick off with traditional Irish music from Lexington band Liam’s Fancy with special guests John Skelton, Bobby O’Byrne and Jeremy Wade playing until 12:45 p.m. Attention then turns to the parade beginning at 1 p.m. as it makes it way down Main Street from Midland Avenue to Upper Street.

At 2 p.m., the William Sutherland Reid Pipes and Drums. Originally founded in 1975, the group has performed and competed locally and regionally at festivals, concerts and even opened for Rod Stewart at Rupp Arena.

Lexington’s Kentucky McTeggart Irish Dancers bring the rhythm and grace of Irish dance to the stage at 2:30 p.m. Since the mid-1990s, the McTeggart Irish Dancers have taught Irish dance to children and adults alike. This past November, McTeggart’s adult team won the 2015 Mid-American Oireachtas regional group dance championship.

Street closures for St. Patrick’s parade and festival

— Vine Street, Midland Avenue., and Main Street from Midland Avenue to Mill Street – the race route – will close at 7 a.m. on Saturday and will reopen around 9:30 a.m.
— Short Street from Mill to Upper will close at 8 a.m. for the festival and remain closed through about 9:30 p.m.
— Upper Street from Short to Main Street will close at 8 a.m. It will reopen after the parade.
— Midland will close at 11 a.m. for parade line up.
— Main Street will close at 12:30 p.m. for the parade. It will reopen after the parade.
— Upper from Main to Vine will be closed from 12:30-11 p.m.

Featured this year at 3 p.m. is “Bluegrass/Greengrass” band Cloigheann (pronounced by the band as “klog-in”). For more than 25 years, the band has blended its traditional Irish and bluegrass roots into a one-of-a-kind sound.

At 4 p.m., the Lexington Irish Dancers take the spotlight. The non-competitive performance group regularly performs at local fairs and festivals, including appearances with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra at Picnic with the Pops.

Musician Paul Cullen performs for the crowd at 4:30 p.m. A native of Ireland, Cullen brings the traditions of Irish song to our festival stage.

Wrapping up the festival performances is the shanty-singing duo Drunk & Sailor. The band goes onstage at 5:30 p.m. with their high-energy, interactive show that’s sure to include audience participation.

Parade participants and attendees are encouraged to share their photos online, tag @LexStPatsParade and use #LexStPats2016. Applications for parade participants and vendors are being accepted through March 1 and can be found online at http://www.lexingtonstpatsparade.org/.

From Lexington Parage.org Communications

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  1. Kelly Kilgore says:


    I copied times and dates for St Pat’s day celebration, and had the 17th at 1pm for the Keg Blessing, and 3pm for the Parade?

    Please clarify

    • judyclabes says:

      Went to web site — it has 11 a.m. for keg blessing and 1 pm. for the parade . . .Check out the link in the story to double check your information.

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