Video & Pictures: The Dragon re-emerges on Shandon

Video & Pictures: The Dragon re-emerges on Shandon
Cork Community Artlink's 'Dragon of Shandon' Parade Pic; Larry Cummins.

The city was alive with shrieks and yells of excitement last night as the Dragon of Shandon made her annual trip through the streets. 

This is the thirteenth year of the parade and its popularity seems to grow and grow, with a number of spectators describing this one as the best yet.

The Grim Reaper arrives with minutes to spare, for the parade, starting from Shandon Street.
The Grim Reaper arrives with minutes to spare, for the parade, starting from Shandon Street.

The crowds were six and seven deep on Shandon Street long before the Dragon and her beasts made their appearance, with small and eager trick or treaters claiming spots at the front for perfect views.

Virtually all the young spectators and many of the adults were in costume, with dinosaurs, corpse brides and demonic clowns all waiting for the star of the show to make her appearance.

Aine Casey, Bailey Crowley and Hicham Haioun in costume for the parade.
Aine Casey, Bailey Crowley and Hicham Haioun in costume for the parade.

There was also huge excitement around the corner in Church Street as the participants arranged themselves behind a giant stilt-walking Grim Reaper, who was leading proceedings.

The work of a small army of face-painters was in evidence, with skeletons and zombies gathering in packs to accompany the floats on their way down though the streets to Cornmarket Quay.

Anthony Rush and Mark Pachkevic with an 'octopus' car.
Anthony Rush and Mark Pachkevic with an 'octopus' car.

The Dragon of Shandon parade, now in its 13th year, is notable for the level of local involvement. Volunteers have been working on the floats for months, in the Cork Community Art Link in Blackpool. 

The floats interspersed with a host of performers and musicians from many local groups, from the Blackpool Glen Farranree Community Training Centre and the Cork Life centre It is the first year the Traveller Visibility Group took part but it is unlikely to be the last with junior members of the group keen to show the scary outfits they helped make themselves and already asking if they could take part next year again.

Jack Doyle playing euphonium with The Cork Butter Exchange band.
Jack Doyle playing euphonium with The Cork Butter Exchange band.

Project manager Mars O'Reilly said one of the things the organisers are most proud of is the friendly atmosphere the parade creates in the area on Halloween night. That warmth was in evidence last night with generations of families grouped together and mingling freely with teenagers and some adults who popped out from pubs to watch the show.

Ominous music heralded the start of proceedings at 7pm and the crowd were enthralled as everything from ghostly ships and dancing eyeballs to mad scientists surrounding a coffin with a very active corpse made their way down the street. 

Eric Crowley all set for action on Shandon Street. Pic: Larry Cummins
Eric Crowley all set for action on Shandon Street. Pic: Larry Cummins

The Dragon herself, who gets larger and more impressive with each passing year, was the final and drew gasps of appreciation from the audience. Many joined in behind her as the parade made its way down to the quays, where a crafty boatload of rowers had the perfect view from the water, before crossing to North Main Street and on to Cornmarket Street. 

Huge crowds were waiting for the finale, with performances from the Coal Quay Shawlies, the dancing skeleton Troupe, Joan Denise Moriarty School of Dance, PassePartout and Inferno.

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