Join city's big party as 'everyone becomes Irish on St Patrick's Day'
DERBY has a perfect excuse to party this weekend after the city's Irish community said "everyone" ought to get involved in their St Patrick's Day celebrations.
With a parade and Irish dancing in the Market Place tomorrow, people are being told it could not be easier to take part.
Nuala Gallagher, a member of the committee that organises the celebrations in Derby, said: "Everyone is welcome. It does not matter if you have no Irish ancestors. Across the world, everyone becomes Irish on St Patrick's Day."
Although St Patrick's Day is on Sunday, celebrations in Derby began last weekend with a ball at Pride Park Stadium and a Gaelic football session.
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An Irish film and live music night also took place at Quad on Wednesday evening.
Nuala said it showed how determined the committee was in ensuring St Patrick's Day became a significant event in Derby.
She said: "We used to have weekend-long celebrations but there's too much to fit in.
"The ball last weekend went really well. Around 170 people were there.
"The Gaelic football session was a great success. We had around 35 youngsters turn up. There's talk of them setting up their own team."
Tomorrow's parade will be led by the Birmingham Irish Pipe Band. It will leave the Market Place at 10am and head for a civic mass at St Mary's Church. At 12.15pm, the parade will return to the Market Place for a display of Irish music and dancing.
A civic reception and entertainment will be held at Derby Irish Centre, Becket Street, from 1.30pm to 4pm.
There will be further celebrations at the centre on Sunday to mark St Patrick's Day itself.