St Patrick's Day parade: Thousands line Birmingham's streets

The parade The parade started at 12:00 with roads reopening at 16:00, police said

Tens of thousands of people have lined the streets of Birmingham for the annual St Patrick's day parade.

The procession, which included floats, pipe bands and dancers, set off at 12:00 GMT in the Digbeth area of the city.

Last year, more than 80,000 people turned out to celebrate the occasion.

The parade, which has passed through Digbeth since 1996, is regarded as the third largest in the world after those in New York and Dublin.

This year's celebrations have been taking place on the actual date of St Patrick's Day and have the theme of The Gathering, which organisers say is about encouraging people of Irish descent to visit the county, town and or village of their ancestry.

St Patrick's Parade in Birmingham The Birmingham parade is regarded as the third largest in the world after those in New York and Dublin

Pat Murphy-Wright, cultural development officer for the charity Irish in Birmingham, said: "The parade is about people embracing their roots and helps to teach children at local schools about their cultural background."

John Lines, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, told BBC News the celebrations were going really well.

He said: "The weather looks fine and everyone's smiling. Such wonderful costumes - people must have spent all year preparing for this.

"Aren't we lucky in Birmingham?"

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

Min. Night 3 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.