Festival Parade

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Festival Parade

The Pageants

Have a look below at the pageant companies that featured in the 2018 Festival Parade.

City Fusion - Banba's Awake

County: Dublin

City Fusion opens this years Parade with the Celtic Goddess of Ireland, Banba, of the ancient Irish supernatural race Tuatha Dé Danann. Banba is a Celtic war Goddess who extends safety to those who follow her through her magical powers. Irish tradition has it that she protects the land from invaders and extends safety to those who follow her. With this in mind, St. Patrick’s Festival present Banba as a modern the new Ireland, where all are welcome and diversity is embraced as she is surrounded by fairies and leprechauns, figures of poets and artists which were so inspired by their rich Irish mythology.


City Fusion - My Heart Is My Home

County: Dublin

Home is a deeply poignant subject for the people of City Fusion.

“Home Is Where the Heart Is” has a special resonance in the context of the project as for many of the performers; Home is not only in Ireland, but elsewhere. And sometimes Home is not a choice.

In order to dive deeply into the subject, we use the two strong symbols Roof and Heart and play with them visually.

The idea is to show that both Roof and Heart are really something that we carry inside us, always.

The performers will wear quite simple costumes with a variety of flamboyant accessories, props, hats, masks in the shape of a heart and a triangle to symbolise love and home.

There will be two main floats, one a golden roof with a beating heart inside and the other a reversed triangular vessel symbolising a boat with live performers aboard.

The pageant will be very theatrical, with sharp colours and lots of red and gold everywhere. The style of the pageant unfolds in a series of unified and strong tableau images.

City Fusion is St. Patrick’s Festival’s Community Arts Project.

Spraoi - Insectopia

County:  Waterford

What if evolution had taken a different path and instead of shooting off from primates we evolved from insects?!

What would life be like in the hive, with each of us born to specific role? Spraoi explore this alternative world with a costumed cast of characters and three large scale pieces including a giant hive, insects and a Queen Bee to oversee all!

This Waterford based company has become a familiar presence in the Dublin Parade with 2018 parade marking their 22nd appearance! Founded in 1993, the company is regularly commissioned by festivals and events to produce large street spectacle shows. The company also produce the now famous annual Spraoi Festival, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Dowtcha Puppets - Homebirds

County: Cork

The Dowtcha pageant, 'Home Birds' is a cautionary tale about the brazen Gulls of Dublin, their rise and comic presence in the city. The gulls have taken on more human characteristics, albeit with beautiful and dynamic carnival costumes. Dowtcha's trademark colour and humour will be showcased with an impressive assembly of choreographed gull characters. From a synchronised flying gull army, to attack gulls swooping and diving for food, the gulls are on the rise! Performers from the Showstoppers Stage School and St. John’s Central College join Dowtcha in the fun and antics.

Set up in 2002 by Cliff Dolliver and Mick Lynch, Dowtcha are Cork’s puppet and street theatre specialists.  They develop and present original, high-quality puppet shows, visual theatre and workshops.

Artastic - Tick-Tock of the Family Clock

County: Kildare

This pageant is about precious moments in time that are all captured by the family clock. Artastic will explore this theme in three parts: Body, Mind and Soul. The clock face represents ‘Body’, our house and the shelter it provides. The cogs and pendulums represent the emotional heart and ‘Mind’. And although the very essence of the clock is to record time, the ‘Soul’ of our family lies in the record of family memories, past and present and the anticipation of future generations.

Artastic is a street spectacle company based in Kildare, under the artistic direction of Vijaya Bateson and Caitriona McGowan. Their track record in conceiving new works and engaging a range of community groups is a testament to their passion for contemporary street theatre.

Buí Bolg - Home Is Where the Hearth Is

County: Wexford

The Buí Bolg pageant is all about relaxing around the fire and having the craic with your nearest and dearest. The centre pieces will transform the streets into one big living room and the audience is invited to join the members of Buí Bolg as they fill the room with their infectious laughter. The heart of home, the fireplace will be brought to life with glowing colours, dancing flames and vivid performances.


Buí Bolg Outdoor Arts is a team of skilled visual artists and engineers, performers and designers led by Artistic Director Colm Lowney. The company develops street art work and creates fantastic puppetry, floats and visual effects.  Buí Bolg’s in-house youth group led by Kris Maguire provides the innovative young acrobats and circus performers.

Inishowen Carnival Group - Spiky Tribe

County:  Donegal

This pageant explores the theme of HOME as tribe, family, shared experience and ritual. It celebrates the human spirit, how we adapt to live in a variety of environments, how we make ourselves at home and how we shape and are shaped by the environment we find ourselves in.

Inishowen Carnival create a strange and colourful spiky world of inflatable plants and dwellings, a large spiky “vulture god” puppet, colourful flags, and angular, spiky, sparkly costumes

Inishowen Carnival Group is celebrating 26 years of carnival activity and has been taking part in the Dublin Parade for 22 of those years. The company is based near Malin Head on the beautiful Inishowen peninsula on the northern coast of Donegal.

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