From Donegal to Kenmare, here’s a flavour of the fun events taking place across the country on March 16 and over the weekend
There are hundreds of events taking place in cities, towns and villages to commemorate the legacy St Patrick left on our small island. Here’s a taste of just some of the great happenings across the country. All we need now is fine weather to enjoy them all.
The national parade
Dublin – This year’s National St Patrick’s Day Parade returns to the streets of Dublin city from 12 noon on Friday 17 March, winding its way from Parnell Square to Kevin St Junction. Driven by the values of community, diversity, youth and sustainability, it promises to be the most ambitious one ever, featuring breath-taking new artistic, interactive and aerial elements.
A major new opening pageant has been commissioned featuring a collaboration with St Patrick’s Festival Community Arts pageant with Macnas, Junk Kouture, Discovery Gospel Choir, and a whole host of community groups. The Parade will feature seven creative pageants, 10 transitional showpiece performances, 15 marching bands from across Ireland, North America and Canada, and over 4,000 participants.
The Grand Marshals are Manager of the Women’s Irish Football Team, Vera Pauw, experienced defender Diane Caldwell and former international Paula Gorham, while the guest of honour is Patrick Duffy, aka. Bobby Ewing from Dallas.
Around the country
Wicklow – The St Patrick’s Day parade in Wicklow town attracts thousands of visitors each year and this year has a fantastic line-up of floats and entertainment. It also has a theme of ‘Musical Greats’ and is encouraging everyone to get dressed up as their favourite pop or rock star to add to the craic! Find out more information here.
Laois – The county of Laois will be buzzing with parades over the weekend so if you’re in the area, you won’t have to travel too far for a dose of entertainment. The biggest on the calendar of festivities is likely to be in Portlaoise but there’ll be lots of fun in the towns and villages across the county. Click here for more details.
Antrim – Belfast is a city with a rich and vibrant Irish traditional music scene and if you’re looking for an authentic Irish music experience, head to Féile Trad Trail at The James Connolly Visitor Centre this weekend. Part of Féile an Earraigh, it features some of the City’s best Irish Traditional musicians so sit back, relax and soak up the festive atmosphere. All sessions on the Trad Trail are free and no booking is required. Click here for more details.
Tipperary – There’s plenty to see and do around Tipperary this weekend with Cashel set to host a St Patrick on the Plaza event. The event will commence at 1pm and run until 6.30pm. Musical entertainment will feature Comhtaltas, Seanie Ryan, Wig Wam Glam Band, Cashel Pipe Band, Cashel Brass Band and street entertainers.
Cork – If you’re looking for something different (and free) to do with the kids this weekend, why not check out the Saints and Shamrocks trail on Douglas Street in Cork city? You can pick up your free guide at Nano Nagle Place’s front desk or in the museum reception. It takes place from 10am to 5pm on Fiday, Saturday and Sunday and no booking is required.
Donegal – There is a cracking lineup of parades taking place in Donegal this Friday but as well as that, the Donegal Railway Museum is having a Family Fun Day from 10am to 2.30pm with free admission. It’s over just in time for you to take your place among the crowds for the parade that starts at 3pm.
Kerry – Five-star Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, Co Kerry, is celebrating St Patrick’s Day with a new cocktail that perfectly captures the spirit of the day. The Shamrock Smash is a refreshing and flavourful cocktail that features a unique combination of gin, dry vermouth, sugar, lime juice, fresh mint, and fresh cucumber.
In addition to the Shamrock Smash, guests can also enjoy a range of St Patrick’s Day specials in The Stables Brasserie & Bar. These specials include the Sneem Black Pudding with Crispy Hens Egg, Shallot & Smoked Bacon, the Traditional Lamb Stew with Pearl Barley, Carrots, Leeks, and Baby Potato, and the delicious Guinness Tart with Blackberry Sorbet. See sheenfallslodge.ie for more details.