Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Saint's carnival underway in city

St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival
The carnival began with a traditional music concert

Thousands of people are converging on Londonderry as Derry City Council's annual St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival gets underway in the city.

About a thousand people have already gathered for a concert of traditional Irish music at Victoria Market.

The parade will leave the council car park on Strand Road at 1430 GMT. Victoria Market car park will be an alcohol-free zone from 1300 to 1700.

In Strabane, the parade will leave Melmount chapel at 1400.

Organiser Aodhan Harkin said he hoped as many people as possible would come along to the festivities.

"This year we have a big GAA theme, because it's the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the GAA and also because Tyrone have the All-Ireland.

"We have floats, bands, everything - it'll be a great day out," he said.

A parade is also taking place in Omagh.

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