Hundreds turn out for 2013 Leeds St Patrick’s Day parade

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A sea of green, white and orange flags were paraded with pride to help Leeds celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style.

Hundreds of people descended onto Millennium Square to watch the annual parade snake its way through the city centre.



Marching bands, Irish dancers and even Leeds Rhino’s mascot Ronnie the Rhino helped to get the annual ‘craic’ under way.

The parade drew traffic to a standstill around Leeds as it weaved its way to the Corn Exchange and the Headrow before finishing back at Millennium Square for a special Irish-themed party.

Generations of families from across the north of England soaked up the party atmosphere to celebrate the culture and heritage of the Emerald Isle.

Leeds Irishman Edward Lavelle launched the ceremony, which celebrated its 13th year.

He said: “It’s a great day to be Irish in the community of Leeds.

“I’m proud to be part of it.

“It’s just amazing and I have been involved in the parade since it first started in 2000.

“It has just grown and grown over the years.

“It started out small and since then it has just been growing.”

He added: “The atmosphere is just amazing because everyone is up for it.”

Mark Donegan travelled from Milton Keynes just to enjoy the St Patrick’s Day celebrations with his father Tony, who lives in Hunslet.

Mark said: “It’s the first time I saw it and it’s been brilliant.

“I didn’t think the community would be these big.”

Tony added: “I’ve been coming for the last few years and there is definitely more here than last year.

“It’s great and there is a good sense of community.”

Grandmother Eileen O’Donovan bought her two grandchildren Amelia and Oliver to watch the parade.

Eileen, who lives in Dewsbury, said: “My husband carried the St Patrick’s banner last year and it is just absolutely fantastic.

“My husband is Irish and it is just a great day.”

Double boost for Leeds city centre cultural and heritage buildings