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Eight of the best Saint Paddy’s Day parades happening all around Ireland this weekend
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St Patricks Festival Waterford

Eight of the best Saint Paddy’s Day parades happening all around Ireland this weekend


by Sarah Gill
16th Mar 2023

From the main event in Dublin city center to local festivities taking place throughout the length and breadth of the country, there’s no shortage of Saint Patrick’s Day parades happening this weekend.

A celebration of our culture, heritage, and innate Irish pride, Saint Patrick’s Day is always a standout occasion on Ireland’s yearly calendar. An opportunity to don forty shades of green, break out the old cúpla focail, and sing and dance into the small hours, the country transforms into a sea of glas come March 17th.

Whether you’re heading out with a group of friends and want to ensure maximum craic, or you’re looking for a family-friendly event to enjoy with the kids, here’s a little roundup of some of the very best Paddy’s Day parades happening around Ireland this weekend…

Dublin City

The national event, St Patrick’s Festival takes place from 16-19 March with events taking place throughout the city, culminating in the grand national parade kicking off at 12pm on Paddy’s Day. Rumoured to be the most ambitious iteration yet, the parade will feature breath-taking new artistic, interactive and aerial elements. This year’s theme is ‘MAR A CHÉILE SINN’ — we are one — and will shine a light on all the goodness that surrounds us, serving as a reminder that when we act with dignity and respect as ONE, we can protect each other and our wonderful world.

Galway

With events taking place across the entire weekend, Galway’s Paddy’s Day parade kicks off at 11.30am with participants marching from University Road, over the Salmon Weir Bridge, to Eglinton Street and onwards past the viewing stand at Eyre Square and concluding on Prospect Hill. Led by two fantastic grand marshals in an open top bus — Connacht Rugby Director of Rugby, Andy Friend, and 11-year-old Saoirse Ruane — the event aims to celebrate Galway’s diverse culture and talent.

Belfast

From traditional music and dance events to a free family-friendly concert, Belfast’s Paddy’s Day festivities kicked off on Friday 10 March, and will continue right up until Sunday 19. From Trad Trails to Celtic Concerts, the programme highlight is doubtlessly the ‘Voices of Belfast’ St Patrick’s Day Parade. Leaving from City Hall at 1.30pm and weaving its way through the city centre, it is a colourful pageant of costume, music, dance, circus and theatrical performance. The theme is ‘Voices of Belfast’ and it will celebrate Belfast’s vibrant music heritage from pop to punk and traditional to disco.

Limerick

With events running from 17-19 March, the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities in county Limerick culminate in a parade that will see thousands of spectators thrilled as over 1500 people march their way down O’Connell Street before finishing on Henry Street. The ‘Discover Limerick’ theme will be to the fore of this year’s parade, with Viking warriors reminding us all of who discovered Limerick first.

Cork

From 16-19 March, Cork city will be lit up green as their Paddy’s Day celebrations take place. The parade theme is ‘A Century of Stories’, and will reflect on the last phase of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ programme, a most significant time in which we have grown as a nation. The annual pageant commences at 1pm on Friday, and this vibrant and colourful display will see Corkonians from all walks of life march together across the city.

Armagh

Armagh’s ‘Home of St Patrick’s Festival’ returned with an exciting programme of music, art, theatre, film and dance on Saturday 11 March, and it will continue on until Sunday 19. For those who may not know, Armagh city is said to be the ‘Home of St Patrick’, the place where Patrick began his mission. The parade itself takes place from 2.30-3.30pm, starting at the Christian Brothers’ School. It makes its way through the city and onto Cathedral Road, past the Shambles Market before finishing at the grounds of Cathedral Road Recreation Centre.

Killarney

Kicking off at 2pm on Friday, Killarney town will be buzzing with activity as the gala St Patrick’s Day Parade adopts a theme of ‘Experience More’, in celebration of what Killarney has to offer all year round. Spectacular floats, marching bands, and Disney characters will make their way from Mission Road through the streets of Killarney, and there are no shortage of fabulous vantage points along the route.

Waterford

Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival runs for three fun-filled days from 16–19 March, and the Paddy’s parade kicks off at 1pm, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay. The parade begins at the Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall. The William Vincent Wallace Plaza on the Quays is a top notch viewing spot.

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