The Luton Irish Forum, formed in 1997, is a community organisation dedicated to helping with the care and wellbeing of the Irish people of Luton and the wider community. Successful from their creation, the Forum soon recognised the need for the Irish in Luton to celebrate their heritage. St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, known for spreading Christianity to Ireland in 432 AD, has become a symbol of Irish identity and Irish people throughout the world take great pride in celebrating St Patrick’s Day.
The St Patrick’s Parade in Luton consists of traditional Irish bands, Irish County Organisations, local schools and of course St Patrick himself! The Parade has proven to be a huge success in the town and has growth in strength and numbers over the years and continues to provide new and exciting costumes, themes and entertainment. In 2004 the St Patrick’s festival in Luton grew from a 3 day event, to a weeklong extravaganza. Cllr Doris Hinkley, Mayor of Luton during the 2005, wrote in the St Patrick’s Day Programme (available fully in the ‘Luton Irish Forum Collection’) ‘This colourful and happy event has now become part of the life of our town, thanks to the efforts of the Luton Irish Forum’.
The Luton Irish Forum has donated a vast collection on images and programmes from the year 2000 up to 2012.