26 February 2004 Edition
Worldwide support for Belfast Patrick's Day Carnival
Support for Belfast's St Patrick's Day Carnival is quickly gaining international momentum.Organisers recently posted a public petition in support of the carnival online and were delighted to discover that in only one week, the petition has become one of the most popular on the web — ranking eighth around the world in number of visits.
"There has been an amazing response," says a Carnival Committee spokesperson, "In only one week we have been inundated with public support from around the world. People have been circulating the petition through their own online mailing lists and we have even had offers from people who want to link the petition to their own personal websites.
Appeal for donations
Carnival organisers, however, are still in search of funds for the celebrations, which take place in only three weeks. Campaigners were forced to appeal for donations after Belfast City Council refused to subsidise the event for the eighth year in a row.
A total of £65,000 is needed to fund all the festivities but local activists have been undaunted by the task, enthusiastically taking to the streets to collect donations from a supportive public.
"We still need the assistance of both community and business sectors, as well as the help of individuals," says the carnival spokesperson. "People of all ages can help, even in the smallest way.
"We invite everyone to join with us in making this St. Patrick's Day Carnival the biggest and most successful ever."
The www.stpatricksdaybelfast.com website allows viewers to sign the petition and donate funds in support of the carnival. Donations can also be forwarded to the Carnival Committee by contacting the Carnival office at 028 90 743331.
Organisers have also arranged a Grand Auction at the Devenish in West Belfast on 6 March. Entertainment will be provided by Tuxedo, with the evening's proceeds donated to the ongoing campaign.