St David’s Day 2012 in Cardiff began with a thick fog lingering across the City resulting in famous sights becoming totally unrecognisable. But as the day progressed the strong Spring sunshine took over and brightened up what was a very gloomy start to our Patron Saint’s Day.
In the Capital City of Wales it was time for the tenth annual St David’s Day parade to leave City Hall and make it’s way past the castle and some of the estimated 8,000 spectators who lined the way.
The parade was supposed to leave at 12.30 but for some reason was a good 15 minutes behind schedule – does anyone know why?
As this was being held in school term-time the streets were lined with ages of all ranges but predominently OAPs and parents with very young kids. Local street sellers provided the eager crowd with the opportunity to purchase flags, leeks and daffodils to show their support for this ever growing parade.
Cardiff City Council had adorned street furniture with banners and giant daffodils – much to the amusement of Anuerin Bevan on Queen Street. Whilst local newspaper The South Wales Echo decided to give readers the opportunity to get a free daffodil on the day! (Did I spot a missing apostrophe in their billboard?)
As one of the main forces behind instigating the original parade – Dave Petersen – led the parade throughout the city marching proudly with his flag of St David and kilt made from the tartan of St David. The procession winded it’s way past the castle with a totally celtic-welsh flavour from the flags, attire and musical accompaniments.
So far it had been a visual and audio feast but the highlight to me was the introduction of five giant puppets from popular Welsh history and culture featuring ‘Nessa’ from Gavin and Stacey, rugby player Gethin Jenkins, singer Sir Tom Jones, Cardiff’s own Shirley Bassey and Owain Glyndwr!
These fantastic puppets were made by London based artists Sarah Mangan, Anna Ferrie and Sarah Pimenta – where it was quite scary seeing these immense figures gliding up High Street towering over everyone else! (It could’ve been a scene from an episode of Torchwood!)
Over 1,000 people took part in the parade with representatives from many bodies including the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and new Wales Manager Chris Coleman taking part for the first time.
There was a variety of music along way from bagpipes, drumming, Wonderbrass and The Breton pipe band. It was great to see the kids whom had all made painted face masks singing Welsh anthems along the route aswell. Thanks to John Wake who recorded this video for the AmeriCymru website!
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Next the parade made it’s way via Mill Lane and The Hayes to arrives at Hayes Island (is it still called that these days?) where everyone joined in a bit of a singsong and the culmination to the day’s proceedings.
A really big well done to everyone involved – such a great occasion and looking forward to next year’s already!
Click the link below for the full set or play on the slideshow:- http://www.flickr.com/photos/djleekee/sets/72157629127112130/