The Manchester Irish Festival, the biggest of its kind in Europe outside of Dublin, is celebrating its twentieth year with the backing of Coronation Street’s newest resident bad boy.
Manchester Irish lad Sean Ward aka Callum Logan can currently be seen as the fierce rival of long time Street resident David Platt in the Manchester-based soap. His new role, however – which has previously been occupied by names such as Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley and Manchester United legend Roy Keane – will see him take to the stage in the auspicious Great Hall located in Manchester Town Hall and officially launch the festival and its new website www.irishfestival.co.uk on Friday 13 March.
Sean recently took to his personal Twitter account @seanjward when news got out about his honour saying: “It is an honour and a dream come true to be asked to open this year’s Manchester Irish Festival- Slainte x.”
Irish Festival President, Councillor Pat Karney said: “We’re really excited to have a true Manchester Irish talent like Sean take the time to lend his support to the festival in its twentieth year and help us launch our brand new website. I just hope he’s not as menacing as his character Callum.”
Thursday 12 March will see the Irish Festival Chairman, Councillor John Flanagan and Irish Festival President, Councillor Pat Karney decked out in Leprechaun outfits to launch the annual Irish Markets located on Albert Square and St Ann’s Square in the city centre. The annual markets which provide a selection of Irish food, drinks, music and literature along with a wide selection of other goods has now spread to St Ann’s Square to celebrate the milestone anniversary of the Festival. The councillors will also be carrying donation buckets for the upcoming Comic Relief Red Nose Day.
The Manchester Irish Festival Parade will this year take place on Sunday 15 March.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets starting at midday at the Irish World Heritage Centre located at 1 Irish Town Way, Manchester M8 0AE, Cheetham Hill before finishing up at the main Festival Hub Albert Square in the City Centre 1:30pm.
As ever the Parade will be full to the brim with traditional Irish music, song and dance along with the characters that have long made the Parade the highlight of the Festival. Full details of the route for the Parade, event listings and a downloadable accompanying brochure can be found on the Festival’s new companion website www.irishfestival.co.uk or alternatively you can pick up the physical copies of the brochure at all official Festival venues including the Irish World Heritage Centre in Cheetham Hill and the Irish Festival Markets located on Albert Square in the city centre.
The Manchester Irish Festival is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers in an effort to promote Irish Culture and traditions throughout the city.