In Cabo Roig, the first sign of summer arriving is not the swallows returning from their winter migration but the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Of course, on that day everybody is Irish, no matter where they are from. This year there was free face painting for everyone. Most people had shamrocks or tricolours painted on your faces or foreheads. There were free green Banderas for everyone made available by the stage at 1pm when the festivities began in earnest. By 2pm the terraces of bars and restaurants around the two-kilometre parade route were swinging. The best spots to view the parade were around the medical centre end of the “Strip”.
Saint Patrick’s Day 2019 fell on a Sunday and this Parade was the 9th to be held in Cabo Roig. It is now world famous, the best in Spain, the best mainland Europe and the 9th best in the world according to popular search engines. 2019’s parade was bigger and more spectacular than ever before with more dancers, more floats, more bands and much more fun.
Police estimate that 20,000 people turned up to view the parade in glorious sunshine. In the parade itself there were over 40 separate acts many of whom were never before seen in Cabo Roig. They included 100 Moors and Christians, three colourful groups of stilt walkers, mirror people and the most stylish punk rockers you have ever seen. There were angels and demons, pimped up golf buggies, vespa scooters, retired GAA heroes, acrobats and three dance troops.
There were also the usual old favourites including Saint Patrick, classic cars, Harley Davidsons, floats, marching bands, a tai chi group, cowboys, cartoon characters, community leaders, politicians, representatives from the Irish army, there was a firework display at 9pm and most of the bars had live music from 4pm until late. The Pink Ladies were out in force, they collected over 1,200€ split between AECC and the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade fund.
Some think that the parade “Just Happens,” but it doesn’t, local businesses and some suppliers contribute their time, efforts and 15,000€ to make this fun event happen each year. They run fundraising events all year around to build up the kitty so as this happy day becomes a reality. The Orihuela town hall each year give the necessary permissions, police assistance, barriers, advertising, some performers, posters, scarfs, stage, seating etc. Without their help and support the Parade just wouldn’t happen.
The 2019 Grand Marshall is Big Joe Egan the famous Irish Boxer turned film star with over 25 films to his credit. A full bio on Joe is printed in the special newspaper for Saint Patrick’s Day and the Irish Pub and Grub Crawl. https://issuu.com/thevirtualleader/docs/st_patricks_day
For a quick glimpse of the 2019 parade click this link: https://youtu.be/rtaHd233_Bk