St Patrick’s Day: A guide to parades and events
What’s happening across the country from Cork to Belfast for this year’s Paddy’s Day
An estimated half a million people will line the parade route between Parnell Square and St Patrick’s Cathedral to witness the nation’s largest St Patrick’s Day celebration.
The parade, which kicks off at noon on Tuesday, will adopt the theme of ‘Celebrate Now’ in recognition of Ireland’s contemporary arts and culture exploits. Featuring bands and performers from around the world, this year’s procession will be led by Grand Marshal Brendan O’Carroll of Mrs Brown’s Boys fame.
It will be the centrepiece of an extended St Patrick’s Festival involving exhibitions from the Guinness photography archive, a tribute to poet William Butler Yeats at the City Assembly House, a funfair at The Custom House and the annual Irish Beer and Whiskey Festival at the RDS.
Celebrations will also be taking place in various towns and villages across the county including the Swords parade, a family fun festival at Tallaght Stadium and a seafront concert in Dún Laoghaire, where the Harbour2Harbour walk in aid of Aware will set off at 10.30am.
Under the direction of Grand Marshal George Hook, the parade on Leeside gets underway at 1pm on South Mall before winding its way up St Patrick’s Street and finishing at Merchant’s Quay at about 3.30pm.
The Rebel County’s premier parade celebrates the theme of Cultural Concepts, and the anticipated crowd of 50,000 will witness displays from local arts groups as well as theatre companies Spraoi, Buí Bolg and LUXe.
Music will also form an essential part of the city’s festivities, along with the unique spectacle of a Redhead Convention taking place at the heart of proceedings.
Not content to allow the county’s capital take all the plaudits, 17 other parades will be held in towns such as Bandon, Cobh and Dripsey- one of Ireland’s smallest routes- in honour of our patron saint.
More than 70,000 revellers will converge on the Treaty city to catch a glimpse of a festival which is increasing in profile year on year. Thousands of participants from across the county will gather at Punch’s Cross for the 12 noon start time to march down a route which culminates at the bottom of O’Connell Street.
In what has been labelled a ‘carnival of colour’, aerial acrobats and circus specialists will be sure to keep the crowds entertained over the course of the day.
Kilmallock’s participation in the All-Ireland Club finals in Croke Park caused somewhat of a dilemma for the town’s residents, but they’ll be free to cheer on their hurling heroes on Tuesday following an advance parade held in the town on Sunday.
Now in its 112th year, Galway’s parade features an eclectic array of talent including representatives from Galway Arts Centre, the Foróige youth group and ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ from Duffy’s Circus.
Also present will be members of the city’s immigrant community including Polish, South African and Filipino groups, and St Mary’s Bruce Grey school will be making an appearance having flown all the way from Canada.
The route will begin at the fire station at the end of Dominick Street at 11:30am, and will pass Shop Street and Eyre Square before finishing on Prospect Hill at around 1pm.
Led by Déise hurling legend Tony Browne, this year’s parade will reflect the unifying theme of ‘Together, We’re Better’. Starting off at 1pm, it will also feature music from the Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum Band, while an Irish dancing exhibition from McGrath School of Dance will aim to get toes tapping.
The parade is but one facet of an impressive series of events taking place across the city, including a reptile pop up zoo, a treasure hunt and live music in John Robert’s Square.
Northern natives will be going all-out with a special carnival parade which will see contributions from musicians, dancers, floats and some of the city’s foremost sports stars.
Headed by former Blue singer Simon Webbe- who will also be headlining a free concert at Custom House Square alongside boyband HomeTown- the parade leaves Belfast City Hall at 12 noon, and will see local volunteers honoured by lord mayor Nichola Mallon.