Panti Bliss announced as Grand Marshal of London St Patrick’s Parade

Ireland’s national treasure and legendary drag queen Panti Bliss will be the one to lead the St. Patrick’s Parade in London this year.

Panti Bliss, who will be Grand Marshal for St Patrick's Parade in Londo, wearing a blue dress, a pink and white wig on a pink background.
Image: Via Instagram - @pantibliss

The Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss has been announced as the Grand Marshal for this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade in London, set to take place on Sunday, March 17.

Over 50,000 people are expected to take to the streets of the British capital for the annual parade of Irish marching bands, pageantry and dance troupes. Organised by the Mayor of London and the London Irish Centre, the parade will kick off in Piccadilly and end in Whitehall.

Ireland’s national treasure and legendary drag queen Panti Bliss will be the one leading the St. Patrick’s Parade in London this year. Speaking to GCN about the announcement, she said: “I’ll just say, I am equal parts honoured and delighted to be Grand Marshal of this year’s London St Patrick’s Day Parade.”

“Though having spent some of my student summers as a freshly minted gay there, it won’t be the first time I’ve made a holy show of myself in the queer streets of London,” she added.


The parade led by Panti will be followed by the annual St. Patrick Festival in Trafalgar Square, where the event will start at 12am with an afternoon of family-friendly entertainment. The programme will include traditional Irish music from the likes of Biird and Bodhrán player, Ruairi Glasheen, as well as other performances, including Irish music with a bhangra twist from the band Jiggy; contemporary music from Kestine and folk singer Laura Elizabeth Hughes and more.

The Maguire O’Shea Academy of Irish Dance will delight the audience with some incredible Irish dancing performances and celebrity chef Anna Haugh will put on a cookery demonstration followed by a Q&A session.

Speaking to the Irish Post, CEO of London Irish Centre, Séamus MacCormaic spoke about the programme for London’s St. Patrick’s Festival, saying: “This special event acknowledges and celebrates the contribution of Irish communities to London, and we are proud to be part of this story.”

He added: “We will be showcasing a diverse programme of Irish arts and culture in the iconic Trafalgar Square, celebrating the creativity and vibrancy of the Irish community in London, and of Irish artists from the island of Ireland.

“We want to thank the Mayor of London and Greater London Authority for collaborating with us.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also commented on the event, saying: “It’s wonderful to join with tens of thousands of Londoners and visitors to celebrate the immense contribution the Irish have made to our great capital over many decades” he added.

“This year is going to be particularly memorable as we welcome Panti Bliss as Grand Marshal of the St Patrick’s Day parade,” London’s Mayor added. “Celebrations like St Patrick’s Day showcase how welcoming and diverse our city is as we continue to build a better, fairer London for everyone.”

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