Donegal women may have a special interest in the Bundoran St. Patrick’s Day Parade, as it will be dedicated to the Irish women’s right to vote.

Up to 10,000 spectators are expected to throng the streets of Bundoran for the annual St Patrick’s Day parade which will take place as usual on March 17th at 3:30pm.

The theme of this year’s parade will celebrate of the 100th anniversary of the female vote in 1918. Business and community groups will be designing their entries around this idea and prizes will be on offer for the top 3 floats/entries. The parade has already gained international interest, and is set to be seen by a global audience as it is broadcast to the world via the Discover Bundoran Facebook page.

St. Patrick’s Day 2016 in Bundoran. Image via Discover Bundoran

Discover Bundoran Tourism Officer tells Donegal Woman about the inspiration behind the committee’s decision on the theme:

“We like to have a theme that is topical and if it’s historical then all the better. Last year we commemorated the 60th anniversary of the closure of the railway. The vote for women was an important event in the history of the country and we want to celebrate that.”

Mr Smyth said we can expect a colourful display with some special guests:

“We have over 400 people taking part in the parade as well as trucks, tractors, trailers, floats, horses, a fire engine and a lifeboat! Many community groups are taking part as well as sports teams from the area. We have 5 bands also.

“This year we are extending a special welcome to the Women of Irish Heritage who are travelling all the way from New Jersey to be with us. The parade will as always be led by a colour party with members of the 28th Infantry Batallion from nearby Finner Camp.”

Parade Director John O’Connell added that he anticipates a bumper turnout for this year’s parade.

“We have confirmed that 2 American colleges will take part this year, a Douzelage group from our twin town in Germany and the “Women of Irish Heritage” who will be with us from New Jersey. We also look forward to welcoming community, sporting and business groups from the locality who are always great supporters of our event. We would advise spectators to gather early to ensure a space along the route.”

Spectators are encouraged to gather on the street from 3:15pm to ensure a good vantage point. Those travelling to Bundoran to watch the parade should note that parking is free in the town for the weekend with plenty of parking available right around the town. The Main Street will be closed to through traffic from approximately 3:15pm in order to facilitate the parade. Anyone travelling to Donegal or Sligo should use the bypass between 3:15pm and 4:30pm.

The broadcast of the parade will begin at 3:30pm on and will be available to watch back later on.