St Patrick’s Day Parade in Oslo

glenn-dowd-little1The Oslo Caledonian Pipe Band (OCPB) was the main attraction in this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in the Norwegian capital city.

By Glenn Dowd in Oslo

The group which was established in 1994 is one of two bagpipe bands in Norway, playing both Irish and Scottish music, and they were only too delighted to headline the tenth official parade in Oslo on March 13th, some four days before the party starts today in Ireland.

The band was founded in 1994 by four Bagpipe enthusiasts, Stig Ulvad, Peter McAllister-Hall, Don Hunter and Age Jonny Jorgensen. They currently practice in Karlsrud school on Lambertseter and the head of music is renowned piper, Robert Robertson. The Scotland native (45) has been playing the pipes for 30 years and was delighted to lead his band in the Oslo festivities “it’s a great honour, the pipes are a major part of St Patricks Day and it will further add to what is shaping up to be a delightful occasion,” he said before the parade.

The aim of the parade in Oslo is to promote Irish cultural activities and this is something that has blossomed since the parade was set up by a group of Irish expatriates ten years ago. This year the 14 members of the OCPB, as well as some fellow students followed the traditional parade route as Norway turned green for the day. The band belted out some well known favourites including Raglan Road, Scotland the Brave and more.

The band is renowned throughout the world for bringing Irish and Scottish music to Nordic Europe. In 2005 they travelled to the Scottish capital Edinburgh to attend Pipefest, where a world record of 12,000 pipers and drummers gathered.

The parade in Oslo kicked off at midday and began in Youngstorget, making its way through the city and finishing at Universitetsplass.

Following the parade,three time Irish Eurovision winner Jonny Logan gave a speech on what it means to be Irish. Then Robertson concluded the festivities with a fitting rendition of Amhran Na BhFiann before the OCPB headed onto the Dubliner Pub to continue the party long into the night.

Glenn Dowd is a freelance journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. He currently writes for Nordic Football News and decided to share this article with the readers of IceNews.

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