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■□■ View Spraoi Photos

An estimated crowd numbering 20,000 lined the route of Sunday afternoon’s Spraoi Parade in Waterford, which marked the culmination of the inaugural ‘Spraoi in the Park’ festival which ran over four days.

The decision to move the annual parade to an afternoon time went down a treat with the young and young at heart alike, as ‘Mr Menagerie and his Clockwork Creatures’ embarked on a new city centre parade route.

Circling The People’s Park, the parade, full of ice-cream hungry schoolchildren, jolly jazz performers as well as a stunningly crafted array of jungle creatures, proceeded down Water Street, Waterside, Catherine Street The Mall and Lombard Street.

Returning to the Park, which looked resplendent in playing host to the Luminarium and the equally colourful ‘Flower Power’, the largest artificial flower bed ever seen in Waterford, the parade rounded off a terrific four days of fun.

“We’re delighted with how everything went,” Spraoi Programme Director Miriam Dunne told The Munster Express.

“Moving the parade forward was, in our minds at least, a bit like trying to move Christmas to a new date!

“But we’ve had nothing but positive feedback and all in all, it looks like we were entirely vindicated in introducing a new time for the parade, a new route and, of course this new event. It brought a lot of families into the city and they clearly had a great time.”

The People’s Park proved a fitting venue for the festival, Miriam felt. “Well it was wonderful to avail of it and to make use of such a beautiful area. I sometimes consider The People’s Park as an unheralded gem in the city and it was lovely to bring it centre stage.”

“We’ve no time to sit back and enjoy the plaudits,” said Miriam, laughing. “There’s only a few weeks to go before Spraoi returns for its annual August festival (July 31st to August 2nd). It’s hectic, but it’s good hectic!”

The forthcoming Spraoi festival will mark the 17th staging of the ever popular arts and music event in Waterford.

Meanwhile, Waterford Gardaí was pleased to report that the city was free of any serious incident during the festival.