Even though the church in Ireland has moved St. Patrick’s Day religious celebrations to the 15th of March this year, parades are still taking place on the 17th of March. So if you’re lucky enough to be in Ireland for one of our biggest celebrations, get yourself along to a parade and with so many taking place the length and breadth of the country, there’s sure to be one near you.
The biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland will be taking place in Dublin, the capital, but this is not only a parade, it’s a week long festival of spectacular events which start on the 13th of March and run until the 17th so you can celebrate and party for five days and nights!
This festival is a huge family event with lots of entertainment like street theatres, music, a céilí mór, carnivals, a fun fair, comedy, street performances, dance, a treasure hunt and lots more. Of course the pubs will be hopping with lots of traditional Irish music, dancing and craic. It’s also a tradition to ’Drown the shamrock’ so having a few pints of the black stuff in not uncommon!
The highlight of this festival is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade which takes place on the 17th and starts at Parnell Square at 12 noon. Get to O’Connell Street, Westmoreland Street or College Green early to get a good viewing spot.
Other St. Patrick’s Day Festivities:
If you’re down south, head along to the St. Patrick’s celebrations in Cork city which run from Saturday 15th March to Monday 17th March. This parade will feature marching bands, street entertainers, community groups, carnival groups and lots more. For the 2008 line-up keep an eye on the Cork St.Patrick’s Festival website.
Limerick city also has its own festival called ‘St. Patrick’s Springfest’ which is taking place from the Saturday 15th March to Monday 17th March. The annual Limerick International Band Festival coincides with the celebrations, so they’ll be plenty of concerts and music events taking place in different venues throughout the weekend culminating with the colourful and exciting St.Patrick’s Day Parade on Monday.
Another parade not to be missed if you’re in the west of Ireland on the 17th March is the Galway city St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This parade is in its 105th year and is always an explosion of colour and sound with marching pipe bands, Irish dancers and lots of performing artists to create a real carnival atmosphere. Check out St.Patrick’s Parade Galway website for more details.
Navan in County Meath is hosting it’s annual ‘Shamrock Festival’ which is sure to be one to remember as this little town is just minutes away from the Hill of Slane where it is said that St. Patrick came to light a paschal fire! With that in mind, this festival is sure to pull out all the stops so keep an eye on the Navan Shamrock Festival website for details on the forthcoming festival.
Other popular St. Patrick’s Day parades are taking place in Waterford city, Killarney – County Kerry, Belfast city, Kilkenny city, Wexford town, Derry city, Sligo city and Gort in County Galway to name a few.
No matter where you go in Ireland, you won’t be able to avoid the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with most towns and some villages putting on a parade. So grab your shamrocks, hat, flags and t-shirts and get down to one of these parades as it’s fair to say, nowhere else in the world can match the excitement and atmosphere of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland!
St. Patrick’s weekend is an extremely busy time in Ireland, so now is the time to book your accommodation. With St.Patrick’s Day 2008 fast approaching, check out our accommodation offers now and you might be inspired!
For more on the life of St.Patrick read our article on The Patron Saint of Ireland
Hope you enjoy a great St. Patrick’s weekend! If you know of anymore events/parades/festivals taking place, let other readers know – just leave a comment in the box below!