Nottingham is preparing to host one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day events in England. The annual parade and celebration is organised by volunteers from the St Patrick’s Day festival committee and supported by Nottingham City Council.

This year’s festival will span four days, from the 15 – 19 March, and feature events in pubs, churches and at other venues around the city, including many free live music performances.

The parade will depart from the Forest Recreation Ground at 12 noon on Tuesday 17th March, arriving into the Old Market Square at about 12.30pm. The parade will feature various marching bands from across the city, the Irish community and Irish organisations.

Residents and visitors can enjoy an afternoon of free entertainment in the Old Market Square, including live music from The Full Sha Bang, the Trinity School Band, and Orioles New Orleans Jazz Band, as well as Irish dancing. Visitors can also sample Irish stew, buy Irish souvenirs, and learn about visiting Donegal.

Broadway cinema will put on an evening of Irish films for the occasion, Five Leaves bookshop will host an Irish Studies group, and Glendarragh Irish Dance Academy will perform in the Old Market Square. See the full programme.

Nottingham will welcome guests from Donegal at a reception to officially open the festival on Monday 16th March at the Council House.

The parade, on Tuesday 17th March will be led by Chief Marshall John Doherty, and a group from County Donegal will lead the parade. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Ian Malcolm will greet the parade as it enters the Old Market Square.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “The annual St Patrick’s Day parade is a fantastic event which brings so much to our diverse city. The generosity of the Irish community in putting on this event for Nottingham is wonderful, and Nottingham City Council is proud to support them.”

Paul Morgan, from the St Patrick’s Day committee, said: “We are looking forward to an excellent St Patrick’s Day Festival, with the local Irish Community celebrating with friends and family. As a community organisation we are always seeking people to join the organising committee, volunteer on the day, to help take St Patrick’s Day forward and ensure a vibrant future for the event. Any help in raising funds including sponsorships, donations are appreciated to build up reserves for next year’s Festival.

So enjoy the day, and remember you don’t have to be Irish to have a good time at St Patrick’s Day!”

The organising committee needs more volunteers to help them to organise the parade and festival as it gets bigger and bigger. Possible volunteers should get in touch with the organisers.