According to the Guinness World Records, St. Patrick himself isn’t iconic enough to be granted a world record despite having his own feast day that is celebrated the world over.
Mike Finn, the organizer of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Limerick, contacted the Guinness World Records in hopes of setting a record for the most St. Patricks gathered in one spot, with his goal of at least 250.
However, Finn told The Irish Examiner, “We contacted the Guinness Book of Records people and they informed us they could not recognize a record of people dressed as St. Patrick because it was not iconic enough to be recognised by them.”
“The Guinness Book of Records is a stamp of approval which we thought we would get, but it seems that St. Patrick is not good enough for Guinness,” said Finn.
Kimberly Patrick at Guinness World Records elaborated to Finn in an email, “We think you will appreciate that, with costume records, we must limit these categories to those which have a very specific, standard, iconic dress and this unfortunately is not the case with St Patrick.”
Despite not being able to achieve a world record, the Limerick St. Patrick’s Day parade is still aiming to be one of the biggest ever. St. Patrick himself has been deemed the grand marshall of the parade, and a 14-foot statue of the patron saint will lead the processions in Limerick.
Following in tow of the St. Patrick statue will be 250 people dressed in the likeness of Ireland’s patron saint in what is being called the Parade of Patricks.
The Limerick Post writes that the Parade of Patricks forms part of a new arts initiative pairing local business with community groups to perform in the parade.
Finn had initially explained his plans for the Parade of Patricks, which he thought would be world-record worthy: “There are two parts to it; one is an attempt to break the world record for the most St Patricks in the one place, which we hope to do by having 250 St Patricks together in the Model School yard just before the parade.”
“Then all of those 250 will parade in the parade in groups of 50 because those 50 represent different community groups. Essentially it’s five community arts projects that are coming together to make up this part of the parade.”
Despite not being given the green light by Guinness World Records, the parade is still planned to go ahead as scheduled.
3,500 people are expected to march in Limerick’s parade this year, which is Ireland’s biggest regional parade. Limerick’s mayor Cllr Gerry McLoughlin expects the parade to be a “big success.”
“I am informed that 75,000 people are expected to attend, which is probably the biggest occasion the city will ever see and I am sure it will be a delight for everyone and present a very positive image of Limerick,” said Cllr McLoughlin.