Spring has sprung as pupils prepare for St Patrick’s in Strabane
06 March 2023
Spring is in the air at schools in Strabane, as the pupils add the final artistic touches to an array of colourful props for the much-anticipated St Patrick’s Spring Carnival parade.
Four local schools have been working with the Streetwise organisation to create a fantastic visual display of butterflies, flowers and birds to dazzle the crowds on St Patrick’s Day. The pupils from St Catherine’s PS, Sion Mills PS, Holy Cross College, and Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh have all been taking part in a series of workshops under the guidance of the Streetwise team, and all 120 children will have an important role in the parade on the big day where they don their Leprechaun costumes and show off their cornucopia of creations.
The theme of this year’s parade is Recycle and Renewal, using the elements of nature, Fire, Air, Earth, and Water to highlight the significance of recycling and reusing, reducing waste and the positive impact this can have on our environment for future generations. The pupils have all been using a variety of recycled materials to produce 3-D models which tie in with the Springtime focus. They have been having great fun making giant mushroom umbrellas, fabulous flowers and a menagerie of colourful creatures.
Streetwise specialise in providing carnival packages for street parades and working with local communities to get them involved in creative workshops and performance, as Jim Webster from the group revealed. “The workshops will give the children the opportunity to create their own 3-dimensional models using a range of techniques including their own artistic input in the final piece,” he explained. “These workshops help the children to engage and invest in the Carnival,” he said.
Máire Ni Dhochartaigh from Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh in Strabane, said the event has become an annual highlight for the school. “The St Patrick’s day parade is a tradition in our school – we have taken part every year since the parade started again in the town. The parade carries great cultural significance for everyone in Strabane and it helps promote the ethos of our school.
“Seachtain na Gaeilge (1-17 March) which ends on St Patrick’s Day, is an important time in the Irish language calendar and we believe that taking part in the parade is a great way for our pupils to showcase, with pride, their school and their unique gift which is the Irish language. The parade is so much more important and relevant this year as we celebrate 25 years of Irish medium immersion education in our town.”
Louise Kingh is Co-Principal at Sion Mills Primary School where the pupils have all really enjoyed taking part in the workshops.
“The P6/7 pupils in Sion Mills PS thoroughly enjoyed the craft workshops, displaying their creativity in the interactive and fun space designed by the talented Streetwise team,” she said. “We are really looking forward to seeing all the creations in the parade and are excited for future partnerships.”
There will be plenty to see and do for all the family throughout the day, including the annual Spring Carnival Parade at 2pm. Leaving from Holy Cross College, the parade will make its way through Melmount Road, Bridge Street, Market Street, Abercorn Square, Railway Road and finish in Dock Street.
The Alley Theatre will also host a programme of activities with guaranteed craic for all the family. Enjoy live traditional music from Seisiém –béim ar an óige, Craic Youth & Anne-Marie Devine as well as cultural activities, children’s arts & crafts and refreshments from 1.30pm until 4.30pm.
Full details of all the Strabane St Patrick’s Day celebrations can be found at www.derrystrabane.com/stpatricksdaystrabane