Do you want to experience the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in Dublin then venture out into the Irish countryside? Would you prefer to celebrate in a small-town pub? The choice is yours! You can rent a car and hit the road, or hire a private driver to guide you around, even try both- that’s the option of customizing your own trip.
Truly the climax to the four-day carousing spree is the parade held on March 17th, where the million-strong, Guinness-fueled, green-clad revelers resemble a veritable army. The event is as much about participation as it is about spectacle. Few forego the tradition of adorning all green. At 11am, the festivities get underway at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral with the procession officially starting at noon and rolling until completion at the Black Church on Dorset Street. The most prized views are from the O’Connell Street Bridge — an attractive alternative to shelling out 60 Euros for the stadium seats. Afterwards, the celebrators continue onward to Earlsfort Terrace for the Céilí Mór dance party. Traditional Irish dancing spills into the streets, and even the most bashful find themselves joining in for a jig. From there, the merriment rallies forward in the thousands of city pubs, only stumbling distance away.
This picturesque County Kerry town hosts one of the country’s most colorful St. Patrick’s Day Parades with a festival that includes street dance and music in a fun-filled emerald green event. The pubs of Killarney are filled with merriment, live music and plenty of Guinness, while talented street performers keep everyone entertained for hours. Everyone is invited to dress in green and join in on the fun with the locals. While you’re here, you won’t want to miss visiting Killarney National Park, the oldest protected wilderness in the country, home to a 15th-century castle, mesmerizing waterfalls, sparkling lakes and Ireland’s only herd of wild red deer.
The Parade in Galway is a very theatrical event, with a strong emphasis on performers and was the first parade to liven up the once (quite frankly) fairly boring procession of bands. This was largely down to the theatre group Macnas (which was founded in the city in 1986 with the aim of bringing colourful and exciting performances out into the streets.) Their influence on all parades has been huge. Enjoy the parade, green pints and enthusiastic locals from Galway!
Cork, Ireland’s second largest city, strongly states that this is “THE place to be on St. Patrick’s weekend.” Known for its competition with Dublin, many refer to it as the “other capital city.” Celebrations here are filled with lots of people packed in the pubs, though its biggest claim to fame when it comes to the Irish holiday is that it holds the title for the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world. It takes place in Dripsey, about 30 minutes away from center city, where it travels just 100 yards, between the village’s two pubs. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, the city has its own parade that runs from the South Mall to the Grand Parade, along St. Patrick’s Street, finishing at Merchant’s Quay. It also holds a festival that featuring a food and crafts market, music, street performers and children’s workshops.
Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations will start with a spectacular carnival parade leaving Belfast City Hall at 12noon, with professional and amateur performers, musicians and dancers. The celebrations will continue with a free outdoor concert from 12.45pm, with special guests and an eclectic range of entertainment including traditional dance, pop and multicultural music.