Pattaya turns green, for one day only

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The fifth St. Patrick’s Day Parade took to the streets of Pattaya on the afternoon of the 17th of March, and this annual event just keeps on getting bigger and bigger each year.

While St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, this day is celebrated throughout the world. From New York to New Zealand, Beijing to Dubai and from Moscow to Sydney, as well as in towns and villages throughout Ireland, people celebrated this day.

St. Patrick and Derrick Kane.St. Patrick and Derrick Kane.

Five marching bands, and too many decorated floats, cars, pick-up trucks and motorbikes to count joined thousands of local Thais, resident foreigners and holidays makers to prove that you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Green was the colour of the day, and while many wore a simple green t-shirt, it was obvious that others took a long time preparing their outfit for the day.

Rattanachai Sutidechanai, from the Tourism & Sports Department at City Hall, welcomed the thousands of people who turned up at the start of the parade. This was followed by Derrick Kane, the man who came up with the idea of Pattaya hosting this yearly parade, who said he was overwhelmed by the large number of people who made the effort.

Father Michael Picharn Jaiseri C.Ss.R., Vice President of the Father Ray Foundation, reminded the lively crowd that on this day, March the 17th, everyone was Irish, and for the sellers of green fabrics it must be their busiest times for the year.

While the parade is a huge amount of fun there is a serious side the event, to raise funds for the Father Ray Foundation which currently cares for and educates 850 underprivileged children and student with disabilities.

More information can be found at www.fr-ray.org or email [email protected]

Father Michael reminded that on March the 17th everyone was Irish.Father Michael reminded that on March the 17th everyone was Irish.

Rattanachai Sutidechanai welcomed the marchers.Rattanachai Sutidechanai welcomed the marchers.

Chinese and Danish volunteers carry their banner.Chinese and Danish volunteers carry their banner.

St. Patrick, Father Michael, Rattanachai Sutidechanai, Derrick Kane and Ajima, who organised the parade.St. Patrick, Father Michael, Rattanachai Sutidechanai, Derrick Kane and Ajima, who organised the parade.

Two Irish gents get into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day despite life’s challenges.Two Irish gents get into the spirit of St Patrick’s Day despite life’s challenges.

Local ‘Irish’ band, Error 99, entertains the crowd.Local ‘Irish’ band, Error 99, entertains the crowd.

The marching band played all the way down Beach Road.The marching band played all the way down Beach Road.

No one could fail to recognize the float from the Pattaya Floating Market.No one could fail to recognize the float from the Pattaya Floating Market.

Dancers from school number 11 entertain the crowds at Central.Dancers from school number 11 entertain the crowds at Central.

They came all the way from The Netherlands to parade along Beach Road.They came all the way from The Netherlands to parade along Beach Road.

Kiss my what?Kiss my what?

A reveler belts out a song.A reveler belts out a song.

The most colourful float of the Parade.The most colourful float of the Parade.

A beauty from the Pattaya Floating Market.A beauty from the Pattaya Floating Market.

The workers from the Centara Grand Resort were very colourful.The workers from the Centara Grand Resort were very colourful.

One of the many wheelchair users that joined the march.One of the many wheelchair users that joined the march.

The children from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs also took part.The children from the Father Ray Center for Children with Special Needs also took part.

The Father Ray Foundation float.The Father Ray Foundation float.

The gang from the Admirallica pirate ship transformed themselves into Pirates of the Caribbean for this year’s event.The gang from the Admirallica pirate ship transformed themselves into Pirates of the Caribbean for this year’s event.