Luton's St Patrick's Day parade is back with a vengeance

The crowds turned out in style for the annual event

By Lynn Hughes
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 12:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 1:08 pm

The sun shone, the crowds turned out and people were happy to party again at Luton's annual St Patrick's Day parade on Sunday.

Luton Irish Forum's volunteering and communications officer Janet Brennan said: "It went absolutely brilliantly. We were delighted. The turnout was at pre-covid levels.

"People just wanted to party and the acts went down a storm."

The crowds were out in force, with a lot of support for Ukraine with flags flying - Photo Tony Margiocchi

It is the first parade since 2019, after it was cancelled at short notice in 2020 just before the first pandemic lockdown.

First held in Luton in 2000, the Festival is now a leading attraction in the Luton cultural calendar, bringing Irish music, dance and drama to the streets and entertainment venues of Luton.

After warm up events on Saturday, with an afternoon of Gaelic football at St Joseph's playing fields, the main event kicked off on Sunday with a Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians RC Church before the St Patrick’s Parade at 12noon started at the Luton Irish Forum, and finished on Market Hill at 12.45pm.

One popular new edition to the parade was the Luton Ukrainian group who were raising awareness of its campaign for donations to help the millions of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

People were ready to party - Photo Tony Margiocchi

An outdoor stage on Market Hill entertained the crowds with award-winning vocals, country singing and Irish Dancing and The Mall Indoor Stage showcased Irish Dancing with amazing footwork and high leaps plus beautiful vocals and great music.

The Hat Factory hosted an after party from 3-8pm with traditional, Celtic, Folk- and Punk-Rock among the attractions.

Speaking for the day's events Janet said: "It was wonderful. I think people were just pleased to be out."

St Patrick’s Day Afternoon Celebration is being held on Thursday, March 17 from 11am-3pm at the Celtic Club, Chobham Street, Luton. Tickets £6. Available from Luton Irish Forum and Celtic Club.

Some even dressed up for the occasion - Photo Tony Margiocchi
Face painting went down a treat with the youngsters - Photo Tony Margiocchi
The market stalls were also popular - Photo Tony Margiocchi
Support for the parade - Photo Tony Margiocchi
St Patrick put in an appearance - Photo Tony Margiocchi