Posted by: mdmusingsie | July 4, 2012

Galway 4th

With the Volvo Ocean Race party in full swing, including an American boat and likely a large American contingent in town, Galway threw a US style 4th of July party.  American Ambassador Rooney came from Dublin to host an invitation-only gala, but there were other opportunities for us common folk as well.

Oddly enough, as I was trying to find the start time of the parade online (I thought it was in the morning), I came across an old job posting on the US Embassy web site for a person to coordinate an American style 4th of July party in Galway.  Temporary position, of course, paying just over 11 Euros per hour.   I must say, whoever they hired did a fine job.

The parade was on the official web site for a 7 pm start, but also listed on an unofficial site as half 7 (which to the Americans is 7:30).  However, in true Irish style, when I asked the Gardai as I was heading to shop street, I was informed it would start at 7:45 pm, which I believe turned into around 7:50-ish.  No bother, I’m getting quite used to “Irish time” so I took a little jaunt to kill time and found a nice spot in front of Eason’s to watch the parade.    While not as lengthy as the St. Patrick’s Day version, it was quite nice.  There were plenty of American elements – a troop of Harley Davidson riders (up Milwaukee), marching bands, boy and girl scouts, and vintage cars including one containing Mickey & Minnie Mouse along with Elvis.  (I found out later at the Tunes in the Church concert, that this particular incarnation of Elvis had a thick Kerry accent.)  The parade also included groups from each of the Volvo racing teams, all of whom were greeted with rousing applause.

But we weren’t done yet.  There would be fireworks in Galway Bay.  Thousands lined the bay from South Park down to Salt Hill.  A Navy ship along with a number of boats was out in the water and a nearly full moon was on the rise.  This time of year, it doesn’t get dark until nearly 11 pm, so the fireworks kicked off at 10:45 (quite promptly, I might add).  It was a very impressive display lasting in the neighborhood of 10 minutes.  Plenty of ooh’s and aah’s could be heard as the sky lit with light and the boom of explosions.  The light show was capped off bya huge round of applause.  Of course most of those folks gravitated back towards town and main shopping/pub lined street was thronged with party goers.

I even made myself a cheeseburger for dinner to celebrate the occasion, though I did find a corn dog stand along with one selling cotton candy in Eyre Square for those who needed a fix of American fare (I passed on both).  It was all the fun of a good old fashioned 4th of July without the annoying neighborhood fireworks for weeks on end until the wee hours.  Bhí sé go h-an mhaith.

Happy 4th of July to all Americans at home and abroad.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



  1. […] to Halloween than this July 4th, United States Independence Day.  Whilst Galway held a grand American 4th celebration as part of the Volvo Ocean race last year, Dublin held little trace of the annual US […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: