Dublin – St Patrick’s Day Festival

St Patrick’s Day Festival Dublin 2017

The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the ‘owners’ of the festival, the Irish people, would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background.As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Billed as the best St Patrick’s Day Parade in the world, the Dublin parade has certainly improved hugely over the last number of years and has taken on a distinctly carnival feel. Street drama is provided by elaborate floats and performing artists from pageant companies from all over Ireland. Marching bands still feature prominently.

St. Patrick’s Festival brings the nation alive, and promises six lively days and nights of free celebrations and encompasses a feeling of what it means to be or just feel Irish.

The St Patricks Parade leaves Parnell Square North at 12 noon on  17 March and takes approximately 2 hours to pass by and continues on to the East side of O’Connell Street and over O’Connell Bridge to Westmoreland Street.  It then winds it’s way down Dame Street and Lord Edward Street passes by Christchurch Cathedral and along Patrick Street where it passes St. Patrick’s Cathedral and finishes up pass Kevin Street.

Getting To The St Patrick’s Day Parade

Based on the experience of previous years, it is probably advisable to take public transport to your local parade as there will be both road and parking restrictions to facilitate the events taking place

St Patrick Day Festival

In recent years, St Patrick’s Day has grown from just a day’s celebration with a parade to a whole weekend festival with events and fun for all the family. This year St Patricks Festival runs from 16 March and goes on until  19 March. St. Patrick’s Festival brings the nation alive, and promises lively days and nights of free celebrations and encompasses a feeling of what it means to be or just feel Irish.

A huge number of events are planned across the capital city and the rest of the country and many are free. From ceilis to treasure hunts, funfairs to comedy, there is something for every member of the family. The festivities culminate on 17 March, St Patricks Day with the traditional parade.

Find Some Of The Events Taking Place Over The Festival

Greening the City

In celebration of Ireland’s national holiday, see buildings, venues and spaces across the city illuminate green for the Festival.  After the sun goes down, take a stroll through Dublin’s fair city to check out these iconic buildings – they look even more impressive in green!

Trinity College,
St. Patrick’s Cathedral,
Christchurch Cathedral,
The Mansion House,
The Convention Centre
and many more

Date: Thursday 16 March

Where: Iconic Buildings across Dublin

Time: 6:00 pm

Free Event –

Festival Céilí – Free Event

Get your dancing shoes on and come along to the Festival Céilí, an outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing. Learn the steps and enjoy live, traditional music and soak up the atmosphere on the streets of Dublin!

Date: Thursday 16 March

Where: Earlfort Terrace, Dublin

Time: 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Open Air Cinema:-

In America

A special open-air cinema screening of In America is sure to be a memorable evening in the beautiful surrounds of the newly renovated medieval Swords Castle.

Date: Thursday 16 March

Where: Swords Castle, Bridge St, Townparks, Swords, Co. Dublin

Time: 7:30 pm

Free Event – But Ticketed

Sing Street

A special open-air screening of 2016’s runaway hit Sing Street directed by John Carney. The highly acclaimed Golden Globe nominated musical-comedy starring Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo tells the story of a boy, growing up in Dublin during the 1980s, who is forced to relocate to a tough inner city public school when the recession hits his family.

Date: Saturday 18 March

Where: Fingal County Council Civic Offices, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

Time: Doors open 7:o0 pm for a 7:30 start

Free Event – But Ticketed

St Patrick Day Festival – Funfairs

From carousels to roller coasters, family attractions to ferris wheels there is something for everyone at the Funfairs. Dare to be suspended upside down, turned over or whisked through the air.A firm festival favourite, the Funfairs will light up the city with top-notch carnival fairgrounds.

Whether you are young or young at heart go along!

Venue: Merrion Square, Dublin 2 & Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

Dates & Times:

  • Friday 17th and Saturday 18th from 11am-9pm
  • Sunday 29th March From 11am – 8pm
  •  Times & dates subject to change.

Admission Varied

Discovering EPIC and Dublin’s Docklands

Venue: EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, The chq Building, Custom House Quay, Dublin 1

Free and ticketed events please see www.epicirelandchq.comJourney through Docklands, explore the original port of Dublin and learn about this fascinating part of the city, its people, history and industry with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Take part in treasure hunts, walks and talks with Turtle Bunbury and Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society or research your family tree at The Irish Family History Centre.Treasure Hunt
17th-19th March
On the hour from 10.00am – 4.00pm
Come and visit the Irish Family History Centre and get involved in the Treasure Hunt.  Explore your Irish roots, search for Irish Ancestors and discover your unique family story.
No tickets required. Meeting point at The EPIC Museum Shop.Guided Walk: Dublin Port and Tales of Irish Emigration  
17th March: 3.00pm /  18th March: 11.30am / 19th March: 11.30am and 2.30pm.
Tickets €5 entry from the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Start and finish at the EPIC ticket desk.
A guided walk around the old port of Dublin, see a replica famine ship and the gaunt figures of the Famine Memorial.Talk: Turtle Bunbury
18th March 1.00pm-2.00pm
Turtle Bunbury is a best-selling author, historian, public speaker and TV presenter based in Ireland. This talk will showcase his latest book 1947 – A Chronicle of Genius, Generosity and Savagery.
Ticketed 5euro entry on the door (refundable if you visit EPIC Museum)

Talk: Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society
18th March 3.00pm-5.00pm
Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society will host a series of talks and an exhibition on the local history and heritage of the Dublin Docklands.
Ticketed 5euro entry on the door (refundable if you visit EPIC Museum)

Festival Treasure Hunt – Free Event

For an exciting, fun and unique way to explore and discover Dublin’s fair City, take part in the Festival Treasure Hunt.  Solve the clues and conundrums as you visit impressive Dublin landmarks, hidden gems and more, then race or stroll back to City Hall to complete the adventure.  The hunt takes about  1 hour 45 minutes to complete and a special mini hunt is available to families with explorers in training, which takes about 1 hour 10 minutes to complete.

Date: 18 March

Venue:- City Hall, Dame Street, Dublin 2

Time: Time: Registration at 10am – 1pm

Storytelling Session with Brendan Nolan

When the parade has passed by and the excitement has subsided a little, relax and unwind to tales spun by Dublin storyteller, Brendan Nolan of the Dublin Yarnspinners.  Hear the true story of how St. Patrick came to Ireland and sent the snakes away, forever

Date: Thursday 17 March

Where: Royal Hibernian Academy, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2

Time: 3:00 pm

Free Event – But Ticketed – SOLD OUT

Street Theatre – Free Event

The streets of Dublin will become the stage for internationally and nationally revered acts delivering mesmerising performances, crazy antics, theatrics and side splitting comedic shows that will wow audiences.

Date: Saturday 18th March

Where: St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

Time: 12pm-5.30pm

Free Event –

The Gannon Cup – Irish University Boat Races

The Irish University Boat Races will take place on the river Liffey, between rivals University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin University (Trinity College). The 2km rowing course, will start at O’Connell Bridge and travel past many of Dublin’s landmarks on its way up the river, finishing at St. James’ Gate. This will be a unique chance to see two universities battle it out in a thrilling series of races.

Date: 12 March
Where: Start at O’Connell Bridge
Time: Races start at 3.30

Big Day Out For Families – Free Event

Merrion Square comes alive with a vibrant street carnival for one day only! Packed full to the brim with street performances, theatrics, workshops, open-air shows, music, art zones and much, much more! Come along for a fun-filled family day out in the stunning setting of Georgian Dublin, and enjoy all that is on offer. Make sure to visit the Keelings Love to Grow Children’s Garden and enjoy planting, digging and hands on workshops to experience the passion of growing at home.

Date:  Sunday 20 March
Where: Merrion Square, Dublin 2
Time: 12:00 to 18.00

The Children’s Soapbox

What does it mean to be a child in 2016? This special event will launch and introduce the Ark’s new Children’s Council, which gives a platform to children to express their views and wishes for Ireland.

The children’s hopes and dreams for our nation’s future will be shared via soapbox style performances using spoken word, stories and poetry. There will also be music from the RTE children’s choir, Cór na nÓg. The choir will perform songs from their own extensive repertoire that complement the words of the Children’s Council.

Free Ticket Event

Tickets available from Monday 7th of March through the Ark’s box office.

Date: Friday 18th March

Where: The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, 11a Eustace Street, Dublin 2

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Duration: Approx. 50 mins

Ages: 4+

Presented in partnership with St. Patrick’s Festival.

The Ark is supported by the Arts Council


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