Thousands expected to attend tonight's Dragon of Shandon parade

Thousands expected to attend tonight's Dragon of Shandon parade
Fernando Tunon, production manager, Dragon of Shandon parade, with the dragon's head and large skeletons as final preparations are put in place for the parade.Picture: Denis Minihane.

AN estimated 15,000 people will take to the streets of Shandon tonight for the 11th Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade.

Over 20 community groups are taking part this year in the various aspects of the parade, with more than 500 people involved in the organisation, building of floats and making of costumes.

The Dragon of Shandon at last year's parade.
The Dragon of Shandon at last year's parade.

The highlight of the parade will be the 36ft dragon, which is made entirely of tape.

The giant puppet will be animated by twelve puppeteers who walk it through the streets of Shandon surrounded by an assortment of illuminated props, lanterns and other-worldly characters.

Kate Mitchell of Cork Community Art Link, who facilitate the Parade, said the event has become a local institution and encompasses all of the community.

“In Shandon Street, there has been a huge influx of new people in this old historical community and this is the perfect way to blend the new communities. It allows new people to feel part of the community and those who have lived here for years to feel unity with what it has changed into.

“It's a changed community from what it was 40 years ago and the Dragon of Shandon has an appeal to it because it's so much fun and it's a free event. It brings children from two to 82 out on the street and they love to be there and feel involved. That's ultimately what the Dragon of Shandon is about."

The community groups involved this year include: Enable Ireland, the Cope Foundation, The Brook Centre Douglas, Cork Life Centre, Gurranabraher Youth Work Ireland Cork, National Learning Network, St Kevin's After School Programme, Terence McSwiney Community College, Blackpool Glen Community Youth Center, High Hopes Choir Cork, Shandon Shed Men's Club, The Shawlies, Butter Exchange Band, Super Stars Stage School, Cork City Samba, Cobh Animation Team, Macha Shewolf Belly Dancers, Cork Comics Creators, UCC Drama and Theatre Studies Passepartout.

People can support the project by keeping the workshops free of charge for the community by just texting DRAGON to 50300 to donate €2 - a once off donation. Cork Community Art Link will receive a minimum of €1.63.

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