THE Naas Easter Parade continues to grow.
Almost 100 floats (96 to be precise) took part in this year’s event through Naas on Sunday – a dozen more than the number of participants in 2012.
Those who watched the event in cold but otherwise good weather conditions, included a delegation from Germany.
Naas is twinned with the German town of Dillingen and its Mayor Frank Kunz was among the guests watching the parade with Naas Mayor Willie Callaghan, the event organiser. Mayor Kunz was accompanied by 19 councillors from the Bavarian town.
Cllr. Callaghan has been organising the event for the past 22 years, inheriting the task from his late father Bill, who launched the event in the 1970s. Originally the Naas parade was, like many others, scheduled for St. Patrick’s Day but the inaugural event was moved from March 17 to Easter because of inclement weather conditions and it has taken place on the later date since then.
“We always try to make sure we don’t lose money and it costs about E12,000 to organise it,” said Cllr Callaghan.
This year’s event was “streamed” as it happened on an internet website and, said Cllr. Callaghan, it was possible to see the parade approach the main street from Blessington Road before it came into view.
“This was something new and it meant that Naas people living abroad could watch the parade and many did because we received emails from various places including Australia and the United States.”
The overall winner (for the Bill Callaghan perpetual shield) was the Kilteel Comhaltas Group.
The large business section winner was the Children’s Playground Company followed by the Carpentry Store while the club winner was the Leah Moran Stage School, followed by Club 4U and Gael Scoil Nas na Riogh.
Naas Tidy Towns won the community section followed by the Naas Fire Brigade. The popular Dandelion Market won the small business category followed by BM Stairlifts. The sports club winners were Naas GAA (1st), Naas United (2nd) and Little Ninjas (3rd).
Sean O’Gorman’s steam engine won the vintage section.
- Paul O’Meara