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  1. ITV Report

Fears over the future of St Patrick's Day parade

St Patrick's Day parade in Birmingham is under threat after the main sponsor pulled out. Credit: ITV News Central

The St Patrick's Day parade in Birmingham this year is under threat after the main sponsor pulled out.

The parade was informed last week that their headline sponsor, Kiely Bros Ltd, will not be offering 'financial support'.

They stated 'it is time for others to step up to the plate in terms of financial support'.

Birmingham's parade traditionally takes place on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day - it dates back to 1952 and was the first in Britain.

The City Council once supported the festival but in 2014 but due to cuts, they had to withdraw their support of the public event.

Credit: ITV News Central

Over 100,000 people from around the world flock to Digbeth to celebrate what is now the world's third largest St Patrick's Day parade.

Kiely Bros Ltd stepped in and offered funding to ensure the parade continued and was the sponsor for two years running.

The event cost over £90,000 to run and it pays for road closures, street cleaning, toilets and security.

Credit: PA images

It would be a great loss if the parade did not happen, generations have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure the community gets an event which celebrates Birmingham and Irish culture.

"I have fond memories of attending the parade as a child and I hope that I will be able to attend with my own children in the future.

"The parade is an opportunity for everyone to experience Irish culture, music and heritage, and to share in the achievements of those that have gone before us."

– Chair of St Patrick's Parade Board, Peter Connolly said:

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