Since 2012 Dermott Fearon has been the Brisbane St Patrick’s Day Parade Marshal. Originally from Warrenpoint in County Down, Dermot moved from Newcastle NSW to Brisbane in 2006 and was a spectator of the parade for a couple of years before realising he wanted to be part of the event. The following year Dermott entered the Down to Down Under Float which is still part of the parade. Dermott recalls; “it was a fantastic feeling being part of such a great event, marching down Elizabeth St waving to the large crowds seeing everyone wearing green or their county colours. I didn’t know there were so many Irish in and around Brisbane”.
Back then the parade formed up in George St, went down Elizabeth St., passed the old Irish Club into Edward St., then Mary St. and finished on George St. This was the parade route until 2018, when construction work in the city meant we had to change the route. Now the parade starts in Alice St. next to the Botanical Gardens, into George St., Mary St., Edward St and finishing at the top of Alice St near where it started.
In 2012 Dermott was asked to take over the role as Parade Marshal which was daunting at the time but very exciting. In this role Dermott has to liaise with participating organisations to ensure we can accommodate them into the parade, sending out the parade positioning map, ensuring everyone’s request are met, working closely with traffic control and the police, providing directions on where to report in the line-up, answering questions from the general public, direction spectators, working alongside other volunteers to help line up the event and making sure everyone is in place before commencing the event.
The floats over the years have been made up of
- St Patrick
- Clydesdale and Police Horses
- Irish Wolfhounds and Irish Setters,
- Vintage Cars and Lorries,
- School & Brass Bands,
- Irish Dancers,
- QLD Irish Pipe Band
- Gaelic Football and Rugby clubs,
- Vintage Taxi’s,
- Irish Construction Businesses
- Singing Groups
- Stilt Walkers and many colourful Characters.
Participants have come from all over Queensland and even New Zealand to paint the town green every year.
The organising of the parade can be very stressful event but worth all the work in the end when you see all the smiling faces and hearing the words of looking forward to being a part of next year’s parade.
The parade could not happen without the volunteers who help out with marshal duties, assisting in many roles leading up to and on the day.
If you would like to volunteer please send us a message.