The crowds came out in force in the Cardiff sunshine yesterday to watch the the tenth National Saint David’s Day parade.
Welsh flags and daffodils dominated the streets of the city centre as young and old came out to witness the procession, which benefited from blue skies and unseasonable 14 degrees temperatures.
The parade, which began at 12.30pm in front of City Hall, progressed past Cardiff Castle and down St. Mary Street before congegrating in the Hayes. School children from across the country took part, along with costumed dragons, military representatives, pipers and the Welsh ‘giants’ - papier-mâché and wire models of icons including Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Nessa from Gavin and Stacey.
After the parade, crowds gathered in the Hayes for a speech from the Lord Mayor and a rendition of the Welsh national anthem before celtic music band Allan Yn Y Fan took to the bandstand to entertain the crowd. Chris Coleman, manager of the Welsh national football team, mingled with the crowd and posed for photos with children and performers in the parade.
He said: “It is a fantastic atmosphere and really shows of the warmth of the Welsh people. It is such a tremendous turnout on such a nice day. The Welsh football association are really behind it.”
Kate Strudwick, who plays flute for Allan Yn Y Fan, said: “Today has been the best. It is where we want to be. The band comes from the valleys originally but we all live around here it is where we want to be. It is a real honour to come here an play.
“We are very keen to fly the flag for Welsh music and take our celtic music to the rest of the world.”
Spectator Roger Price, 69, who had come from Bridgend with his wife and grandchildren to watch the parade, said: “There is a fantastic atmosphere. We came down especially for the parade and I love the reactions of the little ones and how they have reacted to the music. We have some way to go before we catch up on the Saint Patrick’s Day parades in New York but it is definitely on the up. It is high time we tried to give our patron saint a kick.”
The parade had some police and a number of Cardiff council employees stewarding the route but the event passed with out any incident.
A Cardiff council steward said: “We have had a lot of people here but absolutely no trouble. We have got more people here than ever and it is growing in number every year. It is getting better all the time.”
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