Lord Mayor’s Parade – Belfast, Northern Ireland - Atlas Obscura

Lord Mayor’s Parade

Robotic car thieves, freakish animals and huge neon floats in Northern Ireland's capital. 


Featuring an eclectic gathering of robotic car-stealing monsters, multi-headed animals and Chinese dragons, the Lord Mayor’s Parade turns the streets of Belfast into a wild celebratory festival each year.

The annual event is billed as a celebration of community inclusion and diversity, but seems more like an excuse for hundreds of locals to dress in themed costume and party, forgetting about years of violent and bitter ethno-political conflicts that plagued Northern Ireland’s past.

Partygoers enjoy huge neon floats, stilt walkers, colorful animal costumes along with hundreds of dancers that set the pleasant tone of the parade. However, it is some of the more imaginative and unusual floats that make this a truly unique event, including robotic creatures that appear to be stealing cars: a truly strange site for visitors unaware of the parade arriving in the city center.

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Belfast Town Hall

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January 3, 2012

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