A little bit of Ireland came to the Woodgate Beach foreshore on Saturday with the inaugural Woodgate Irish Group’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.
The flags of the “Emerald Isle” fluttered in a stiff sea breeze as about 40 dedicated Paddy’s Day Parade devotees lined up to celebrate the time-honoured parade.
To add a quirky twist, the parade was headed by members of the Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band bedecked in their finest kilts complete with bagpipes skirling out inspirational Scottish tunes.
Event organiser James Kiernan heads up the Woodgate Irish Group and has been planning a St Patrick’s Day Parade at Woodgate for a few years.
“A number of us have marched in the parade in Brisbane but I believed there was enough interest to have the event celebrated here at Woodgate,” James said.
“Unfortunately last year’s plans were disrupted by the pandemic but we have a really good turnout for the inaugural Woodgate parade and we are so fortunate to have the Caledonian Pipe Band supporting us.”
“We have gained the required approvals, notified the appropriate authorities and have our COVID-SAFE plan in place so the event is fully covered. Next year we will have further discussions with Council regarding other approvals which may allow an expansion of the parade,” James said.
He said that although St Patrick’s Day fell on March 17 it was tradition to hold the parade the Saturday prior.
The Woodgate Irish Group and participants marched behind the band the 900 metres along the foreshore path to the Woodgate Beach Hotel where an Irish band entertained throughout the afternoon and numerous cans of Guinness were quaffed in an enjoyable social atmosphere.
James Kiernan said new members were welcome to join the group through the Woodgate Irish Group Facebook page.
“We are looking to hold other social activities throughout the year so the more the merrier with memberships,” he said.
Adam Johnston, a piper with the Caledonian Pipe Band said although only a small representation of the band was able to attend the parade it did underline the band’s commitment to supporting community events.
“The band is always delighted with the response our music generates and I am sure it is that public appreciation that continues to inspire band members.”