One of Kilkenny’s best-known faces, celebrity chef, teacher, actor and radio presenter, Edward Hayden, has been announced as the Grand Marshall of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Marble City.  

The announcement was made by the Chairperson of the St. Patrick’s Festival committee, Cllr. Joe Malone, who said that it is an honour richly deserved: 

“Edward Hayden has been at the centre of all that is best in Kilkenny life over the last few decades. From his early days as a budding chef, to his appointment as  lecturer and culinary course leader in South East Technological University teaching across all of the culinary programmes from certificate to honours degree level. With his emergence as a major media star, locally with his ‘The Saturday Show with Edward Hayden’ on KCLR96FM and of course, his long-standing cookery slot on the daily breakfast show, ‘Ireland AM’ on Virgin Media, Edward’s star has continued to rise.” 

Launching the 2023 St. Patrick’s Festival in Kilkenny, Mayor Cllr David Fitzgerald said he was delighted that Edward had been chosen to be this year’s Grand Marshall: 

“Edward had published three cookery books over the years, as well as contributing to most national and regional publications and is the resident cookery writer with the People Newspapers group. He also is a member of the Guild of Irish Food Writers, as a respected voice in food writing. He has played a central role in the continuation of the Savour Kilkenny food festival and his cookery demonstrations at the festival and at festivals and events all over Ireland, serve as evidence of his popularity and abilities. He has also given of his talents freely for many community and voluntary groups through the years.” 

Edward is also an astute businessperson; the establishment of The Edward Hayden School of Cookery in Graignamanagh has added enormously to the attractions of the town on the Barrow that he loves so well and Edward also regularly treads the boards as an actor with local drama groups in Kilkenny, Wexford and beyond. His one-man show ‘An evening with John B. Keane’, has graced the stages of his native county, but was given the particular honour of being invited to perform it in St. John’s Theatre in Listowel, where Keane’s family and neighbours gave it glowing reviews.’ Edward currently serves on the National Executive Board of The Drama League of Ireland, which promotes the advancement of quality in amateur Drama. 

Festival Manager, Marian Flannery, said she was delighted with the committee’s decision:  

“Edward has been a wonderful friend and colleague over many years and is truly passionate about everything to do with Kilkenny. As well as that he has hugely high standards of excellence and gives 100% to everything he does. We have no doubt but that that will be the case in his role as Grand Marshall. He is also a bit of a style icon too, so we’re sure that the selection of his outfit from one of Kilkenny’s leading fashion emporiums will be keenly watched by the fashionistas!  

Above all though, Edward makes us all laugh. His first cookery book was called ‘Edward Entertains’ and never was a book so appropriately named. The first thing you hear when you come close to Edward’s company is his hearty laugh and some bit of mischief is never too far away! We really are looking forward to seeing the craic that will surround a parade led by Edward.’” 

Edward will lead the parade, which will start from John Street at 1.30 pm and follow the traditional route through John Street, Rose Inn Street, before turning at the parade onto High Street and finishing in the Market Yard. Joined by community, sporting, cultural and international groups celebrating this year’s theme of ‘Legends and Stories’. Parade applications are open until March 3rd. All details and application form available here