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Thousands turn out for St Patrick's Day celebrations

Thousands of people have turned out for the parade Credit: ITV News Central
The parade in Birmingham is one of the biggest in the world Credit: ITV News Central

Thousands of people have turned out in Birmingham for the city's St Patrick's Day celebrations. Around 80,000 people are expected to be at the event which is one of the biggest in the world.

UK's largest St Patrick's Day parade takes place in Birmingham

The parade in Birmingham is the biggest St Patrick's Day event in the UK Credit: Graham Hughes/Press Association Images

A confetti blast will start the UK's largest St Patrick's Day Parade at 12pm today in Birmingham.

The theme this year is Irish Myths and Legends. There will be seven marching bands for the parade which normally attracts around 80,000 visitors.

The parade will start in Digbeth High Street at 12pm and will head towards St Martin's Lane.

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Final preparations for St Patrick's Day programme

Final preparations are underway as organisers of the annual St Patrick's Day Festival put together a packed programme of music, entertainment - and of course, the Parade.

With this year's theme being Irish myths and legends, the Parade will be led by Olliphoist, an Irish dragon who fled the country in fear after St Patrick had banished all the snakes.

The St Patrick's Day Parade route Credit: Stpatricksbirmingham.com

Olliphoist will be followed by six marching bands, a VIP bus carrying the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, numerous floats, vintage cars, and various other groups - including children from a local primary school who will be depicting the tale of the Children of Lir.

For full details of the programme, visit the St Patrick's Birmingham website.

Preparations begin for St Patrick's Day in Birmingham

Preparations have begun across Birmingham ready for the traditional St Patrick's Day celebrations at the weekend.

The festival peaks with the annual parade on Sunday.

This statue along the Chester Road in Erdington has been all dressed up ready for the occasion Credit: ITV News Central

The Library of Birmingham has already confirmed it will be 'going green' for the occasion.

Police re-opening roads after St Patrick's Day parade

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Pictures: The UK's biggest St Patrick's Day parade

Marching bands filled the air with music as they paraded through Birmingham Credit: Steve Underhill
Birmingham Cork Association carrying a banner through Birmingham
Carrying the flag for Dublin today in the biggest St Patrick's Day Parade in the UK
Classic motorbikes were draped in St Patricks Day decorations Credit: Steve Underhill
Decorated floats flooded the streets of Birmingham today
Crowds gathered outside the Bullring Birmingham to get a view of the parade Credit: Steve Underhill
Tractors polished and decorated for the St Patrick's Day Parade
Many people were celebrating St Patrick's Day despite the chilly weather Credit: Steve Underhill
People of all ages took part of the parade today Credit: Steve Underhill

85,000 people expected to attend St Patrick's day parade

Pub closures for St Patrick's Day in Birmingham

The organisers of the St Patrick's Day parade in Birmingham have agreed with the police for pubs to close their doors at 4pm today and reopen them at 6pm.

Customers can stay inside but no one else will be allowed in during that time.

This is being done to give police the chance to clear the streets to allow shoppers to make their way out of the city.

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