Bristol St Patrick's Day Parade to return for 2024 with 'big beautiful puppets'

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The organisers want to create an event that is 'uniquely Bristol and Irish'

Plans are underway for Bristol’s 2024 St Patrick’s Day Parade, which is set to feature ‘big beautiful puppets'.  

W.E Irish, Lamplighters Arts and University of Bristol are collaborating to design this year’s celebrations for central Bristol.   

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The organisers say they hope the carnival will ‘celebrate being Irish beyond the usual stereotypes and from a migrant perspective’.   

They are also planning a series of art workshops, which will give the public the chance to shape the design of the puppets.   

Dee Moxon from Lamplighters says the plan is to create a St Patrick’s Day event which is 'uniquely Bristol and Irish'. 

“We’ve been working together most of the year to look at what that will be and represent the city and Irish people", said Dee, who has Irish heritage and is a carnival artist of 25 years. 

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“We decided to do a collection of people’s stories and create a big sea of migration that reflects Irish folklore and stories."

In previous years, Bristol's St Patrick’s Day parades have been entirely vehicle-based, which Dee says were “not that exciting.”    

She added: “Our vision is to create images that are not the usual steretype, quite often it’s green, the Leprechaun and flag - and we’ve all seen enough of that. So it’s more about digging into the knowledge, reflecting that in Irish folklore.”  

As part of the design process, the organisers are holding art workshops where people are invited to bring objects, letters and photographs to help prompt conversations and creativity.

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The parade itself will take place on St Patrick’s Day (March 17), starting at midday, with a route yet to be confirmed.  

The carnvival-making workshops will take place on February 11, 18 and 25 at St Bonaventure's Hall in Bishopston, The Southbank Club in Southville and The Spark Space in Redfield respectively. 

There is also a survey people can fill out to share their thoughts: https://uk.surveymonkey.com/r/39GT2ZD    

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