Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade is back - at Cannon Hill Park on Sunday

A St Patrick’s Day Parade community event is taking place in Cannon Hill Park on Sunday, March 12

The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in Digbeth has been cancelled for a fourth year running - but a smaller community event has been planned to take place in Cannon Hill Park on Sunday (March 12).

With the tram works it was not possible for the annual parade to take place in its traditional route along Digbeth High Street. So the new organisers are hosting an event - which includes a walking parade and exhibitions, dances and music - at Cannon Hill Park and the MAC. There are no food and drink stalls and parking is limited, so people interested in attending are advised to use public transport.

Custodianship of Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Day Parade, is now managed by the Birmingham Irish Association (BIA). Around 500 people are expected to attend the Community Parade event on Sunday, including the Lord Mayor Maureen Cornish.

BIA have described the event as ‘low-key’ and say it will include some participants from the original parade - providing an opportunity to keep their traditional skills alive and celebrate together once again - including the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums, Dance Schools. GAA Sports under 9’s and walking groups and flag bearers.

Other activities will include demonstrations, face-to-face with bands and dancers as well as history talks in the MAC centre - subject to capacity - including a photographic display ‘We Built this City’, and a talk from Birmingham’s Irish Heritage group.

Birmingham’s St Patricks Day Parade, which regularly attracted 80,000 people, has not taken place since 2019, due to COVID and ongoing works in the city centre and Digbeth.

Parade Day is also been marked in Digbeth with several pubs holding Parade Day Parties, with live music and a visit from BRIT award winning Irish band Fontaine’s DC with two members doing a DJ set at The Old Crown.

Other St Patrick’s events are being held throughout the week in Digbeth and across Birmingham - including a St Patrick’s Day Mass inside Norton’s pub with Fr Gerard Kelly and Our Lady’s School Choir on St Patrick’s Day itself - Friday, March 17.

A spokesperson on behalf of Birmingham Irish Association said: I can confirm Birmingham Irish Association (BIA), are committed to helping to securing the future of the Birmingham Irish community’s cultural heritage for future generations”.

“As the new custodians of the Birmingham St Patrick’s Day Parade, we have decided to stage a pared-back community gathering to provide an opportunity for the Irish groups to get together again after a four-year gap. It’s important they have this opportunity.

“The low-key event will take place in Cannon Hill Park, on 12 March, from 11 am and will be made up of Irish community groups, and associations representing dance, sports, history, and literature.”

Anyone planning on attending the Birmingham celebrations should be aware that there will be no food and drink stalls at the event and BIA is encouraging the use of public transport as parking at the venue is limited.