Celebrity chef Rachel Allen to head Cork’s St Patrick’s Day parade
Food and Ford to feature in celebration of city as place of community, culture, commerce
Rachel Allen: “I am hugely honoured to be the Grand Marshal of the Cork St Patrick’s Day parade.”
Food and Ford are two features of Cork social and cultural history over the past century and both will be celebrated in this year’s St Patrick’s Festival. Plans for this year’s parade to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of car manufacturer Ford in the city had already been announced. But now Cork is set to acknowledge its role as a centre of culinary excellence with the selection of Allen to lead the parade.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Des Cahill said that Allen, a member of the family who helped put Cork on the culinary map through the Ballymaloe Cookery School, has been “a fantastic ambassador for Cork and Ireland” and was a fitting choice to serve as Grand Marshall of the parade.
“Rachel is widely regarded for her passion, knowledge and expertise in food and it is very fitting that she has been chosen to lead the Cork St Patrick’s Day parade,” said Cllr Cahill. He added that parade organisers hope the event will attract 50,000 people on to the streets of the city.
Allen, whose various cookery TV programmes have been broadcast in more than 30 countries, said she was delighted to be chosen as Grand Marshall.
“As an adopted Corkonian, I am hugely honoured to be the Grand Marshal of the Cork St Patrick’s Day parade. I am really looking forward to the day and I would encourage as many people as possible to come to the parade which will be a wonderful, fun and colourful spectacle”
Cllr Cahill had previously confirmed that this year’s parade will be led by a range of Ford vehicles from down through the years, many of which were manufactured at the company’s plant on the Marina, including the famous Model T, the Fordson tractor and the Cortina.
Among the community, arts and sporting groups participating in this year’s parade will be The United Filipino Irish Association, Starlight Baton Twirlers, Rebel Wheelers, the Nigerian Community Cork, and Mayfield GAA Club who recently won the All-Ireland Junior Hurling title.
Among the other groups participating in this year’s parade are the Mexican Community Cork, Sahara Belly Dancers, Cork Figure Skating, CIT Carnival Samba and Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann.
The parade runs from the South Mall to the Grand Parade, along St Patrick’s Street and finishes at Merchant’s Quay.