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The Dragon of Shandon making its way from Shandon Street onto North Gate Bridge during the Cork Community Art Link Dragon of Shandon parade in Cork city.Picture Denis Minihane.
The Dragon of Shandon making its way from Shandon Street onto North Gate Bridge during the Cork Community Art Link Dragon of Shandon parade in Cork city.Picture Denis Minihane.
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'Better than Paddy's Day' Dragon of Shandon parade a real crowdpleaser

All Hallows Eve went down in a colourful display of passion and creativity with the 14th Dragon of Shandon parade on tonight's dark rainy evening.

The night of Halloween, which is traditionally ruled by witches and ghouls, was once again taken over by the dragon as Shandon Street filled with young and old craning for a glimpse amid the crowds at the masterpiece.

400 volunteers danced, stomped and strode along the cobbled streets of Shandon filling the encapsulated audience with wonder, awe and perhaps a little fear.

Tristan Reilly with Springboard Traveller Art Group pictured at Cork Community Art Link’s Dragon of Shandon, Cork City. Picture: Clare Keogh
Tristan Reilly with Springboard Traveller Art Group pictured at Cork Community Art Link’s Dragon of Shandon, Cork City.
Picture: Clare Keogh

A fitting tribute to the cold, wet night that was in it.

Eight-year-old John O’Brien was out on Shandon Street early, ready to experience the annual event with his 11-year-old sister Niamh and their Mother Angela.

The family, who live in Fairhill said they come to the event every year and really enjoy spectating.

“I like the parade, I think it is really good,” Niamh said.

“The dragon always looks really cool,” John told The Echo.

Granny, mother and daughter trio, Francis O’Rourke, Sinead Cotter and Maebh Cotter were out in the light rain to enjoy the Dragon of Shandon event with their friend Bridie O’Keeffe.

The foursome said they come to it every year.

Sinead and Maebh, who live in Rylane, travel into town every year to watch the array of performers and wonderous contraptions pass them by with their family and friends.

“Nothing could keep us away from the Dragon of Shandon, it is better than the St Patrick’s Day parade!” Maebh said.

All kinds of groups, from The ACA Performing Arts to the Cork Community Bikes and Youth Work Ireland Cork were involved in the lively showdown which featured a range of scary spectacles including a multicoloured elephant and a canary yellow bird head.

The Dragon of Shandon making its way from Shandon Street onto North Gate Bridge during the Cork Community Art Link Dragon of Shandon parade in Cork city.Picture Denis Minihane.
The Dragon of Shandon making its way from Shandon Street onto North Gate Bridge during the Cork Community Art Link Dragon of Shandon parade in Cork city.
Picture Denis Minihane.

Founder and Director of Cork Community Art Link William Frode de la Foret who first established the project in a bid to showcase the artistic skills of various community groups, told The Echo the event is all about inclusivity.

"The project is all about inclusivity," William said. "We never close the door on anyone and always try to accommodate anyone who would like to participate.

Cork Community Art Link is partly funded by Cork City Council but engages in many fundraising events over the year to ensure the Dragon of Shandon goes ahead.