Garrycastle GAA's Club Hero Scott Lowe with 'Ireland's Fittest Family', the Beirne family from Leitrim, at the annual Derek Daly Memorial 5k last month.

Brave Scott and Heather to lead Athlone St Patrick's Day parade

Two local heroes will act as marshals for this year's St Patrick's Day parade in Athlone.

Grand marshal will be local Special Olympian Heather Dickson, while brave Scott Lowe, will be acting as mini marshal.

Scott, aged 8, donated bone marrow to his five-year-old cousin Grace, who has been battling leukaemia, and has become known as ‘Amazing Grace’.

Last year the grand marshal was Derry McMahon of the local sub-aqua club and this year’s grand marshal will be Athlone Special Olympics basketballer Heather Dickson.

Heather was selected by the local community through a text vote.

The duo will lead off the parade that will be centered around the theme of 'World Culture'.

This year’s St Patrick’s Day festivities in Athlone will be launched at a ceremony tomorrow (Thursday) in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel  at 7pm.

This year the organisers are aiming to keep the parade commercial-free and instead focus on community.

“We are taking out all commercial vehicles to make it a more community event,” said committee chairwoman Caoimhe O’Connell.

All participants are asked to focus on the them of world culture in their floats and new entries or groups who have not entered in recent years are welcome.

The parade will start at the westside of Athlone at 2.30pm on Saturday, March 17. 

It will cross over the bridge, proceed down Church Street and Sean Costello Street, before turning down John Broderick Street and finishing at Burgess Park.

There will be three main areas on the day. There will be a family area at Burgess Park where entertainment will be provided. 

An entertainment area will be in place behind Sean's Bar, where local groups will perform. 

A display area will be located at the Civic Square and this will include a vintage display and a BMX display.

There will be a booklet on the day and anyone interested in sponsoring a page is asked to get in contact with any of the committee members or phone 085 2016676.