04 Feb 2020
Revel in one of the world’s great national holidays any place you choose on the island of Ireland.
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated right across the world, but for a truly authentic experience there is only one place to be – the island of Ireland.
While Dublin attracts the most attention and biggest crowds on 17 March, venture out from the capital and you can discover all kinds of celebrations in virtually every village, town and city in the country, often lasting for days, and celebrate in style with the locals.
Ireland’s second city, Cork, is staging a four day festival this year from 14 – 17 March, culminating in a vibrant St Patrick’s Day parade. The colourful cavalcade will feature up to 3,000 people including sporting groups, dance schools, the city’s long-established brass bands and special guests from around the world.
Cork always has a lively nightlife but during the festival it will be bursting with music as the Lee Sessions bring masters of traditional music to pubs across the city.
Belfast will mark St Patrick’s Day with a vibrant carnival parade and free open-air concert on 17 March. The streets will be awash with colour and noise as the parade snakes its way through the city centre from Belfast City Hall to Writer’s Square.
Meanwhile, historic Limerick, flanking the Shannon Estuary, is also hosting a four-day St Patrick’s Festival with fun, fireworks and plenty of fancy dress.
On Sunday 15 March, the 50th Limerick International Band Championship will strike up in the streets of the city, when over 1,300 talented marching band musicians from across Ireland, Europe and America will compete for the coveted winners’ cup.
St Patrick’s Day will see the grand parade wend its way through the city streets. This year the theme is ‘Our Future is Green’, celebrating the city's designation as a European Green Leaf City for 2020.
In Armagh, where Patrick began his Christian mission and established the city as the spiritual capital of Ireland, the annual Home of St Patrick Festival promises another exciting programme of culture, music and spirituality. This year it takes place from 6–17 March and will provide a superb mix of local and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy emphasising the stunning locations where Patrick walked and worked.
Elsewhere, beautiful Killarney, on the spectacular Ring of Kerry, will celebrate in style with an extravagant four-day festival promising street céilís, treasure hunts, greening of buildings, a grand parade and fun for all the family.
And St Patrick himself will perform the miraculous feat of leading parades all over the island of Ireland, including Sligo, celebrating 50 years of parades in 2020, and in Downpatrick in County Down, where the cavalcade of floats, bands and colour will be a sight to behold.
No trip to St Patrick’s Day in Ireland would be complete without a visit to the national grave of St Patrick in Downpatrick. The town is also home to the St Patrick Centre, the only permanent exhibition in the world about Ireland's patron saint, as well as Down Cathedral and many other religious sites and cultural attractions associated with the great man.
St Patrick Centre, Downpatrick, County Down
St Patrick's Day Parade, County Limerick
Home of St Patrick Festival, County Armagh
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