Father Ray Foundation

It was a blistering hot afternoon when several hundred locals and expats, young and old, gathered on the car park at Alcazar Theater for the start at the 2018 Pattaya St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Now in its eighth year, the Parade organisers were once again honoured to welcome back to Pattaya His Excellency Mr. Brendan Rodgers, Ambassador at the Embassy of Ireland in Bangkok, who arrived with his fiancée Ms. Kevin Doris Ejon.

Ambassador Rodgers was welcomed by Father Peter and Father Michael from the Father Ray Foundation, as well as Derrick Kane and Steve Devereux from the Irish Society of Pattaya; Mr. Kane is the one who first came up with the idea of a Pattaya parade, and this year his family arrived from the Emerald Isle and filled one whole truck, which was festooned with green, white and orange balloons, and everyone seemed to be enjoying the craic!

Speeches were given, the flags of Ireland and Thailand were raised to the sounds of their respective national anthems, and then it was time to start the Parade.

The band from the Royal Thai Navy led the Parade, which was followed by the VIP’s, who this year marched alongside the youngsters from the Father Ray Foundation,  once again were the beneficiaries of the money raised during the Parade.

As the parade made its way along Pattaya Beach Road the marching bands warned those sunbathing on the beach, eating in restaurants and in the stores shopping that something special was arriving, and in some places there were large crowds watching the Parade.

Floats traveling down Beach Road included those from Pattaya Floating Market, Centara Grand Resort, Long Beach Garden, Trojan Construction, King Power and the Irish Society, from whose float came the sound of traditional Irish music from the four musicians.

As the Parade came to an end on the grounds of Pattaya School No. 8, Ambassador Rodgers presented awards to all the sponsors of the event, as well as trophies for the winners of the Best Decorated Float category, which this year went Centara Grand Resort.

Each year the parade gets bigger, but Pattaya has many so called ‘Irish’ bars who have no interest in taking part; isn’t there an old saying that states that, ‘on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.’ Wouldn’t it be great if the whole of the Pattaya Irish community could forget their differences and come together for one day of fun and to raise money for a good cause? See you next year?