Rain has cancelled at least one Sydney St Patrick’s Day celebration but several iconic buildings will still glow green and hundreds are expected to flock to the city’s oldest Irish pub.
The Hyde Park Barracks, Town Hall and NSW State Library in Sydney will join landmarks across Australia and the world when they are lit green in honour of Ireland’s patron saint on Friday night, in an initiative organised by Tourism Ireland.
“There are just so many Irish around the world, so we’re just kind of saying thank you to them, and spreading the Irish love,” Tourism Ireland’s Aoife Finnegan said.
Sydney’s heavy rainfall has led to the cancellation of the annual Green Gathering parade and entertainment at Prince Alfred Park on Sunday.
Organising committee president Robert Kineavy said it was extremely disappointing for the volunteers who had worked on the event and for the thousands of Irish Australians who had planned to attend.
“The safety of the public is our main consideration and that’s why this painful decision has been taken,” Mr Kineavy said in a statement.
“Our committee will investigate holding a similar event later this year.”
But rain is not expected to stop hundreds of Sydneysiders on Friday from gathering at The Mercantile Hotel, which claims to be Australia’s longest-running Irish pub.
The pub kicked off St Patrick’s Day early with a traditional breakfast and Irish dancers while Irish bands and performers will take revellers into the evening.