History of Saint Patrick's Day Around the World
Munich is the only German city holding a St. Patrick's Day parade owing to the considerably large Irish community. The parade is organized by the German-Irish Society of Bavaria and has been held every year since 1996. Meanwhile it has evolved into the largest in continental Europe and features not only Irish/Scotch/English, but also German clubs and societies. Following the 2 km-parade, which ususally takes place the Sunday preceding March 17th, is an open air party with live music and dance performances.
On 15th March 1992, thousands of Muscovites lined the Novy Arbat to witness the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in the Russian capital's history. Yuri Luzhkov - the then and current Mayor of Moscow - and Aer Rianta Chief Executive Derek Keogh were on the reviewing stand as a police escort led the way for - rather bizarrely -Russian marching bands, Cossack horsemen, and fifteen floats representing many Russian companies. The parade, which was the brainchild of Derek Keogh, was a big success, and ensured a repeat performance the following year.
Each year the floats have become more numerous and sophisticated and the range of international and Russian participants and sponsors more wide-ranging such as Pepsi and Guinness. The local Irish bars of Moscow contribute their own floats and Muscovites reveal their own homegrown Irish Wolfhounds, which are nearly as big as the floats themselves.
The Moscow parade continued to be an annual event until 1998. After a three year lapse The St Patrick's Society of Russia managed to re-establish the St Patrick's Day parade with the co-operation of the Moscow City Government, The Moscow police, various government bodies, The Irish Embassy and the Irish Community in Moscow.