The seventh annual installment of the Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade was officially launched this week by Lord Mayor John Buttimer at an outdoor pumpkin soup reception at O’Connell Square, Shandon.
The parade is a celebration of all things Samhain and is one of Ireland’s largest street celebrations. It offers the people of Cork a chance to dress up and walk with Ireland's last dragon through the streets of Shandon.
The dragon is created annually by Halloween Cork Community Art Link and is built by volunteers. People from Shandon Street Business Association, local residents, Shandon Cairde Youth Club, Blarney Street youth groups, and members of the Buttera or Butter Exchange Brass Band and the Cope Foundation also attended the launch.
The 2012 evening parade will include hundreds of costumed zombies, vampires and monsters take to the streets of Shandon on Halloween night and anyone can dress up and attend. There will also be an eerie river parade up the Lee with a shoal of illuminated fish mounted on currachs and a new pirate raft installation on the river.
Perhaps most impressively, the Shandon footbridge will be transformed into a giant illuminated ribcage. The 36 foot dragon of Shandon will also be joined by a host of new characters and giant floats as well as brightly illuminated skeleton puppets, lanterns, performers and musicians.
The annual Leeside Halloween street parade is the result of an extensive outreach programme and collaboration with artists that takes place across the city with community groups over the past months.
This year’s Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade will depart the Shandon Butter Exchange Building on Wednesday 31 October at 7pm, with the route going down John Redmond Street, Mulgrave Road, along Popes Quay, up Shandon Street to Church Street before returning to the craft centre for an outdoor Monster’s ceilí.
The 2012 parade is supported by Cathedral Credit Union, the Buttercup Café, local business and trading community and the Firkin Crane.
For more information see www.dragonofshandon.com.