Parades Ireland -Street spectacle

Parades Ireland, Rag dolls

Since 2003 Artastic have created a pageant spectacle for St Patricks festival parade in Dublin, using a variety of community groups along with our talented artists. This blog will describe in brief of a spectacle along with credits to those involved in the year 2013 for parades Ireland.


History of Group

Artastic was founded in 2003 by its Artistic director Vijaya Bateson.

Artastic’s collaborative art projects are, nationally recognised as models of community theatre in Ireland, where artists and community groups work together to transform our urban landscapes with colourful creative performances

Artastic is involved with four different parades today around Ireland

Description of Pageant

This was Artastic’s 11th year involved with our national St Patricks parade in Dublin.

Parade Tilte :   Raggie Maggie

Story line :

Parades Ireland Artastic’s cast of 120 performers create a colourful spectacle that tells the story of some old Toys who were concerned that children were drifting towards playing with electronic games too much. And more frighteningly, the old toys were concerned that Children may start to lose their great imaginations, if the stopped playing with their old toys. In response, the toys decide to have a great gathering of toys to enter St Patricks Festival parade. But to really capture the imagination of children not only in Ireland but all round the world they decided to make the world’s largest Rag Doll. The Toys decide to almost double the world Guinness record and make the ginormous Raggie Maggie 7.7 metres tall. (That’s about the height of two Double Decker bus on top of each other)

Artastic actually attempted the world record. Read more Here

Captured by Adrian Melia photography here







Parade Opening, Our three young performers Saoirse Kearney, Joe and Faye O Loughlin open our parade as Three Rag Dolls, followed by a huge Yellow Bird.

Section one, Are dancing Barbies, and Kens

Section two, Are colourful collection Emu Puppets

Both section one and two are led by Atomic dance group from the Liberties in Dublin. The groups are Choreographed by their director Mark Kennedy.

Section Three, Is a large collection of soft toys such a trolls, Teddys, and black birds.

This Section is performed by young people form Bradog Regional Youth Service’s in North Inner City, Dublin, and directed by Mary Duffin


Section Four, we find a Lego characters, Robots and spinning tops.

This section is performed by both Balitore Youth Theatres from Co Kildare and,

Young people from Cabinteenly youth arts group.

Section Five, See’s a collection of individual toys such as Tin soldier, Teddy bear, plastic soldiers, Dragon, Strong man, Goblin, and gingerbread man.

Section Six, will finish the parade with a lively bunch of Rag Dolls dancing and sing as the parade the massive mascot ‘Raggie Maggie’ for all to see.

These last two sections are performed by members of IADT college in Dun laoghaire, along with Artastic regular Performers.

Artistic team involved including titles

Artistic Directors –  Vijaya Bateson, Caitriona Mc Gowan

Atomic Dance group choreographer – Mark Kennedy

Performance Directors: – Mary Duffin, Vijaya Bateson,

Creative Team– Ryan Aoife FitzGerald, Wendy Stephens, Emily Archer, Eimear.

Other Groups/people involved in the project

This year Artastic has a cast of over 130 performers from group such as;

Dancers from Atomic Dance Group – Dublin

Students form Model making course in IDAT Dunlaoire – Dublin

Balitore Youth Theatre – Kildare

Bradog Regional Youth Services – North inner city Dublin

Any information on individual members….

Big thanks to Ryan Smith for all his work. Ryan was a guest artist who was invited form Scotland to help create this pageant

Also big thanks to Aoife FitzGerald, who has been the longest standing participant in out parades, travelled all the way back to be with us again this year.


Other interesting info

A Roman Rag Doll is one of the oldest Children toys still in existence, and is kept in the British Museum. The doll was found in a child’s grave from 300BC


To See more images please visit Artastic facebook gallery