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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 28 November, 2014

The Irish show Berlin how to celebrate St Paddy’s Day

Berlin’s Saint Patricks Day festival has jumped from a crowd of 150 to over 5,000 since 2011.

IN 2011 ONE Irishman living in Berlin decided it was time he show the city how to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day.

Dara O’Neill originally from Waterford, but living in Berlin for the past eight years, began working on a Berlin St Patricks Day festival.

He told TheJournal.ie “I started it for personal reasons so the first year it was really just a group of extended friends having a party.”

“One hundred and fifty people turned up to celebrate in the first year in 2011 and the following year that jumped 10 fold when 1,500 people came out”.

And so the party started…

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(Berlin Parade 2012, St.Patrick’s Festival Berlin)

Last year it jumped dramatically again when 5,000 people turned up.

“We didn’t realize how big it was going to be. We had booked a venue for the afterparty that held 1,500 people so we were really underestimating the growth.

I think the rise of the festival over the past few years paints a picture of the mutual warmth between Ireland and Germany.

“This year we went all out but we had a hard time with sponsorship. We almost cancelled it a few weeks ago but then we just decided we would make it work. We’ve asked bands to play for free and obviously we do all the work for free so now we’re just hoping it’s a success”.

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(Parade and Concert 2013, St.Patrick’s Day Festival Berlin)

O’Neill said “Demand is there so we’re planning to meet that demand”.

The closer we get though there’s also that fear that nobody will turn up.

Taking into account that the festival has gone from 150 attending in 2011 to 5,000 turning up in 2013…we have every faith that this year Saint Patrick’s Day parade will be the biggest Berlin has seen yet!

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(Parade and Concert 2013, St.Patrick’s Day Festival Berlin)

Read: Dublin Airport is asking tourists not to say ‘St Patty’s Day’

Read: Tubridy’s threatening to wear this Paddy’s Day jumper on the Late Late>

Read: Here’s how the Taoiseach and Tánaiste are spending the St Patrick’s Weekend>

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