The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

More than 20,000 people expected to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in St Julian's

Roberta Micallef Saturday, 17 March 2018, 09:29 Last update: about 9 months ago

More than 20,000 people are expected to be celebrating with a pint of Irish beer at this year’s St Patrick’s Day Celebrations in St Julian’s. This newsroom met with St Julian’s Mayor Guido Dalli who spoke to us about the preparations of this anticipated event.

After last year’s scrutiny, the Local Council has released a statement saying that St Patrick’s Day festivities are in no way organised by them. The residents however, are a top priority for Dalli. A helpline (2137 3111) has been provided to the residents to report any problems that arise during the festivities.

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Apart from police presence, additional security will be stationed at various locations in St Julian’s. Bars and restaurants surrounding the area together with six NGOs who also work on voluntary basis during St Julian’s feast, including the local football and waterloo club, have all contributed money to cover the expenses of the event - that is, extra security, portable toilets, bins and cleaning services.

The remaining amount of the expenses is to be covered by the Malta Tourism Foundation. Like last year, the police is enforcing a total ban of glass cups and bottles.

This newsroom has learnt that once festivities are over bar owners of the surrounding area, tend to clear the pavement in front of their business. One of the bar owners that we spoke to said: “at events like St Patrick’s day it is impossible to have total control of litter, as long as it is cleared up by morning the issue should not be of concern.” The cleansing department will have people on site emptying bins and replacing them all throughout the day.

St Julian’s Local has been meeting with bar owners, the police and Transport Malta over the past few weeks, to plan for the feast and prepare for possible outcomes. This year St Patrick’s Day falls on a long weekend therefore the logistics between the various entities need to be planned out well.

This newsroom also spoke with St Julian’s parish priest Fr Claude Portelli who last year had expressed his disgust on a Facebook post. Portelli hopes “for this year’s festivities to be more civilised, and for people to respect the residents”. In addition the local council would like to thank the residents for their cooperation and patience during this very noisy event.

A park and ride system is being organised from Luxol to Spinola Square between 18:00 and 01:00. Triq San Gorg will be closed between 13:00 and 01:00 after which the roads will reopen and the cleaning will commence.

The cleansing department is anticipated to begin the clean up during the night, and the area is promised to be clean by morning. A 12:00am music curfew will be enacted.

In tomorrow’s paper there will be a feature which highlights the history of this feast.

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