Luton St Patrick’s Festival 2019, the 20th organised by Luton Irish Forum, culminated in ‘unmissable’ celebrations and great live music and Irish dancing enjoyed by thousands in the town centre on Sunday.
The headline acts – Matthew O’Donnell, Rigs & Jeels, and The Kings of Connaught – gripped the crowd outside at Market Hill Stage with a mix of current and traditional Irish music, country and Celtic inspired foot-stomping tunes. Inside The Mall, audiences crammed around the stage to enjoy more live music and watch award winning Irish dancers from both the local area and Ireland.
Many families took advantage of the free children’s craft activities and games in the Market & Family Area, making shamrock-themed headbands and other decorations, having their faces painted and chasing giant bubbles! The Lennon family, who come from Longford said “This year’s festival had a real family feel about it and the lads loved it. It’s so important to keep passing Irish tradition down.”
Earlier in the day, hundreds of local people from Irish Associations and other community groups plus decorated floats took part in a massive parade from Luton Irish Forum to the town centre and were cheered along the route while enjoying live entertainment. This year, the best group entry went to St Dympna’s Gaelic Football Club and Mrs Brown was the first ever winner of best individual entry. Parade goer Marian who comes from Kildare said “It was just lovely to walk behind the Kildare banner. I have people staying but I had to come to this’’.
Missed the parade? Don’t worry, the celebrations were filmed by The Irish in the UK TV programme, which goes out soon (online on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm and repeated on Saturdays at 8.30pm). Look out for familiar faces and some very well-known characters.
Images by Hannah Fishwick: https://wetransfer.com/downloads/f9d7a462d9b10ac67226f062b94d9d6420190317204142/f1321ce07e36f9d820c67cc668522ce220190317204142/5163ac
For further information about the activities of Luton Irish Forum, visit their website at www.lutonirishforum.org