The St Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade has been a colourful addition to Luton’s cultural calendar since the year 2000. The driving force behind this event has been the Luton Irish Forum. St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, known for spreading Christianity to Ireland in 432 AD, has become a symbol of Irish identity. Irish people throughout the world take great pride in celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
The Parade in Luton consists of traditional Irish bands, Irish County Organisations, local schools and of course St Patrick himself! The Parade has proven to be a huge success in the town and has grown in strength and numbers over the years. It still continues to provide new and exciting costumes, themes and entertainment. In 2004, the St Patrick’s Festival in Luton grew from a 3 day event, to a weeklong extravaganza. Cllr Doris Hinkley, Mayor of Luton during the 2005, wrote in the St Patrick’s Day Programme (available in full in the ‘Luton Irish Forum Collection’) “This colourful and happy event has now become part of the life of our town, thanks to the efforts of the Luton Irish Forum”. The Luton Irish Forum has donated a vast collection on images and programmes from the year 2000 up to 2012.