Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade 2023 at Cannon Hill Park - pictures & video of the event

Birmingham’s annual St Patrick’s Day Parade went ahead on a smaller scale after fears it had been axed watch our video with music from the Father Teds - produced by Paul Smith with drone footage from Steve Jakab [email protected] - & photos from Chris Egan

The Irish community came to the rescue amid fears their world famous St Patrick’s Day Parade was set to be cancelled for a fourth year running.

A smaller scale event took place in Cannon Hill Park on Sunday (March 12) featuring musicians, dancers, county associations, GAA footballers, motorbikes and more!

The parade was regularly attracting crowds of 80,000 supporters since it relaunched in 1996 - and became the fourth largest in the world - but was unable to take place due to Covid since 2018.

The regeneration of Birmingham City Centre also meant it was unable to take place in its traditional home along Digbeth High Street this year. With the difficulties of hosting a large-scale event in a small time period after years of not going ahead, the smaller community St Patrick’s Parade took pride of place, on the sunny morning - with Irish culture at its core.

The relaunched event was built around a celebration of Irish language, music, dancing and sport. And plans are afoot to build on the success for next year, which will mark the 50th Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade.

The custodianship of the event is now managed by Birmingham Irish Association - the Midlands’ leading charity providing support and cultural services to the Irish community. First Secretary for the Irish Embassy Leon Durac joined the celebrations, along with Deputy Lord Mayor Shafique Shah and Leader of Birmingham City Council Ian Ward.

Organiser Anthony Duffy, who worked on the relaunch of the parade in 1996, said: “We are  a ‘can do’ community and it was fantastic to see the support we received to bring back the Parade - on this smaller scale.

“We look forward to bringing the Parade back for its 50th event next year. No decision has been reached on whether this will be in Digbeth or back in Cannon Hill Park. But the plans will be moving forward in the coming weeks to carry on the good work. We want to put Irish culture at the heart of the Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade and build a sustainable event for generations to come.”

Participants included Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums, St Paul’s Girls School, Edgbaston, St Brendan’s GAA Club, Bishop Challonor School, Kings Heath, Scanlon School of Irish Dancing, Sean McDermotts GAA, Conradh na Gaelige, County Associations for Glaway, Wexford, Monaghan and Limerick, Kidd School of Irish Dancing, Archbishop Ilsley’s School, Acocks Green, St Edward’s Primary School, Selly Park, Kidd School of Irish Dancing, Irish Wolfhouds, McCarron School of Irish Dancing, Pat Benson Boxing Club, Irish Ramblers, BSA Owners Club - and St Patrick (aka Len) riding a BMW Trike.

Organisers are confident next year’s event - which will mark the 50th St Patrick’s Parade in Birmingham - will be a huge success. They are holding a meeting to initiate plans at 6.30pm on April 17 at St Anne’s Church Community Centre in Digbeth.

Here are 14 photos of the 49th Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade held in Cannon Hill Park.