Organisers of the annual St David’s Day event say they’ve had one of their worst turnouts ever, due to a lack of funding and publicity.
The parade usually takes place on the first of March in Cardiff city centre. It is a celebration of Welsh heritage, culture, language and music. It usually attracts thousands but this year it was only hundreds.
In previous years the event has relied on external funding, but Cardiff Council, who were responsible for closing the roads and paying for public liability insurance, no longer fund the event. This means it is now the responsibility of the National St David’s day organisers. With sponsors Co-op recently dropping out too, there are fears that the much-loved event might not be around for much longer.
Meurig Williams, Chair of the Welsh National Instruments Society and member of the parade’s organising committee, says the event is run by volunteers who are busy people. “When it was successful, we used to have funding that paid for an entire team. If you can’t maintain the effort it’s very difficult to keep it running for the entire year. We need to maintain momentum”.
Former Plaid Cymru politician Neil McAvoy, who attended this year’s parade, said the event didn’t get the publicity which meant numbers were down. He said: “When the council used to support it, ten thousand people would turn up. We need a sizeable event in the capital city. Unfortunately, Welsh celebrations are almost a well-kept secret which is shameful”.
Cardiff Council were approached for comment.