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Luck of the Irish as the sun comes out for St Patrick’s Day parade

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Thousands of people have lined the streets of Leeds city centre to enjoy the annual St Patrick’s Day parade.

Scores of supporters dressed in the green, orange and white of the Irish flag packed the steps up to Leeds City Museum to witness a colourful convoy of floats, pipe and brass bands, banners and tractors march from Millennium Square.

Pupils from Leeds schools including St Patrick’s Catholic Primary and the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Primary were among those starring in the parade alongside community and music groups as the weather stayed bright today.

Festive onlookers dressed in green Irish-themed Guinness hats, Irish rugby shirts and shamrock-patterned clothing were out in force for the annual celebration.

The parade has been organised by the Leeds St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee every year since 1999.

Among the crowd was Headingley resident Annabel Smith, 79, who was visiting the parade for the first time with her daughter Katherine.

She said: “We’ve never been to watch the parade before and I’ve lived here for 50 years.

“I love the music and the fact that the children are enjoying themselves is nice to see.

“It’s not just Irish people that are here either, everybody from the community has come out to see this.”

The vibrant parade left Millennium Square, before going onto Park Row, Boar Lane, Vicar Lane and The Headrow to thousands of flag-waving residents.

Special guest and head coach of Leeds Rhinos Brian McDermott officially opened the parade during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the event.

Morley resident Dan Ackroyd, 42, was watching the St Patrick’s Day parade from Cookridge Street with his Irish wife and their daughter.

“I think it’s great, I really do. It’s the amount of people that come and watch that makes it so special,” he said.

“It’s the whole community getting involved.”

A number of other traditional Irish events have been taking place across the city. Leeds Irish Centre, in York Road, hosted dance, music and entertainment on Friday. Irish History month is also being celebrated.

Visit www.leedsgoingirish.co.uk for further information on the event.

 

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