The annual St Patrick’s Day Parade was one of the first major events to be cancelled as the Covid pandemic took hold in March 2020, and the city’s businesses lowered their shutters for the first time.
This year’s al fresco celebration, which is led by Derry and Strabane Council and the North West Carnival Initiative, signifies a return to normality as restrictions ease, and thousands are expected to turn out to support the event.
The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, said it will be an unforgettable day and urged people to follow the guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable celebration.
“It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since our Spring Carnival event was cancelled and we have been through so much, which is why this year’s parade will be an even more joyous occasion.
“It’s fantastic that we can come together once again as a community, and it’s just the beginning of a packed programme of major festivities being rolled out in 2022.
“I’m delighted that this year’s Spring Carnival also features the Unboxed Festival of Creativity, and I would really encourage people to check out this fabulous showcase in Guildhall Square.
“I know our businesses will be particularly pleased to see people back out on the streets, and back through their doors after such a challenging time.
“With large crowds expected, I want to appeal to everyone to please give each other plenty of space and to consider taking a lateral flow test for extra peace of mind before attending.
“Check out the traffic and travel information before you go to plan your journey and if possible use public transport or walk to the event to help reduce congestion in the city centre.
“Follow the direction of stewards and the PSNI who are on hand to help on the day. But most of all – have a very safe, happy and enjoyable St Patrick’s Day.”
Members of the public attending the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations are advised that there will be some disruption to normal traffic flow in the city centre, with road closures in place, so please expect delays.
The St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival Carnival Parade commences at 3.00pm and will exit from Bishop Street Car Park onto Bishop Street.
From there it will proceed to the Diamond, travel down Shipquay Street to Whitaker Street, turn left onto Foyle Embankment and at Harbour Square Roundabout head left towards Strand Road passing the City Hotel, turn right onto Strand Road passing the Holiday Inn and The Strand Omniplex proceeding to Strand Road Car Park where it will end at approximately 4:00pm.
An accessible viewing area for people with disabilities will be located on Whittaker Street opposite the Guildhall.
It’s advisable that anyone with mobility issues who wishes to avail of this area, plans to arrive a little earlier in order to ensure unimpeded access before the surrounding areas become congested.
Where possible, the public are strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking to the event. Details of all buses can be found by visiting www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables
Existing car parking areas available on the day include:
Cityside car parks: Foyleside Shopping Centre Car Park East, Foyleside West and Quayside Shopping Centre, Foyle Road, Magee Campus (Lawrence Hill), Victoria Market (Restricted), Queens Quay, Society Street, Carlisle Road and William Street.
Waterside car parks: Alfred Street, Bond’s Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpsons Brae, Spencer Road and Old Bridge House.
Motorists are advised that there are likely to be delays when exiting some car parks during the parade. Please note there will also be restrictions to Foyle Street and Bishop Street Car Parks and the Strand Road Car Park will be closed on Thursday 17th March.
Blue Badge holders are advised to use available public disabled car parking spaces.
Accessible parking for the viewing area platform will be accommodated in the Foyle Street Car Park but these spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Drivers are reminded that normal on street parking restrictions will be in place and that they should avoid parking anywhere where they may be blocking entrances to residences or businesses or where they may be obstructing emergency access.
It is vital that people use the available car parks.
In addition, the following parking restrictions will be in force during the day:
The car parks at Strand Road, Foyle Street, Victoria Market and Bishop Street will have restrictions on Thursday 17th March.
Vehicles stopping to drop off passengers are advised to park in a safe location and to avoid the immediate vicinity of the City Centre, in order to minimise traffic congestion.
Motorists are advised to expect some delays and diversions during the parade.
In the interests of safety, the following roads will be closed to traffic or have traffic restrictions in place for the event:
Bishop Street, Shipquay Street and Strand Road will be restricted to traffic for varying lengths of time during the afternoon between 12pm and 4pm. Alternative diversion routes will be available during these times.
The Foyle Embankment lane restriction, on the city bound approach from Translink Bus Depot will be operational from 1pm until approximately 4pm.
Please note that all times are approximate and that road restrictions and diversions will be kept to the minimum length necessary to ensure safety.
Regular updates will be provided on Council’s social media channels, including What’s On Derry and Strabane and @DCSDCouncil, and also via local radio.
You can find all the traffic and travel information as well as programme highlights at: www.derrystrabane.com/Tags: