Painting the Town Green: St Patrick’s Day in Dublin

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Dublin St Patrick's Day Festival

I always find St Patrick’s Day hilarious. March 17th comes around each year and we all somehow remember those distant Irish relatives we’d forgotten existed, and celebrate the fact that our Grandmother’s father was Irish meaning it’s therefore acceptable to drink from midday whilst wearing a funny hat. Perhaps that’s just the student years in Newcastle rubbing off on me. However, for the more culturally inclined amongst you it truly is a day of celebrating Irish heritage and paying homage to everything related to The Emerald Isle. If, like me, you’ve never been to Ireland, then what better way to experience it full throttle than heading there for a St Patrick’s Day short break? Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year with a whole range of amazing events across the weekend, the best of which we’ve detailed below. So, what are you waiting for…?

Greening the City – All Weekend

What could be more patriotic than literally turning the city green for the weekend? Businesses and venues throughout Dublin will join forces to shine the lights upon their buildings and proudly fly the flag for Ireland. Not only will it create a great atmosphere, it’ll make for some great photos too! 

Music & Street Performance – All Weekend 

It wouldn’t be St Patrick’s Day without some traditional Irish music and street performers. All weekend the streets will be filled with dancers, musicians, actors, acrobats, fire-eaters and everything else you could possibly think of to keep you entertained. Plus some incredible food too!

Street Entertainers

Comedy: Best of Irish – March 14th 

10 of the best Irish stand-up comedians will battle it out for the title of ‘Funniest Person in Ireland’. The best part is that you the audience will have the deciding vote on who is victorious, so all you have to do is enjoy the laughs and choose your favourite. 

Trad Stage – March 14th 

From 7.30pm – 9.00pm, three of Ireland’s best traditional performers take to the street for an intimate gig in the centre of Dublin. Guidewires, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill will great an evening that is definitely not to be missed on your Dublin short break. 

The Gannon Cup – March 16th

As far as Ireland’s concerned, there’s only one major boat race this year, and that’s The Gannon Cup! The Irish University Boat Races take place on the River Liffey as hoards of crowds watch on. This will be a unique chance to see two universities battle it out in a thrilling series of races.

Race Times:
12:45pm – Sally Moorehead Cup, Women’s Novice
12:55pm – Dan Quinn Shield, Men’s Novice
13:25pm – Cocoran Cup, Women’s Senior
13:55pm – Gannon Cup, Men’s Senior Race

Dublin St Patrick's Day Parade

Cirque du Gael – March 16th

For something a little more unique, make sure you head to see the Cirque du Gael performers for a day of daredevil tricks and comedy skits, or why not try your hand at extreme juggling?!

St Patrick’s Festival Parade – March 17th

The big finale – Ireland’s leading pageant companies and marching bands from around the world will make the streets come alive in spectacular style on St Patrick’s Day itself. For the first time ever, the 2013 parade has invited people from all over the globe to take part. Around 8000 people are expected to be involved, so if you fancy being a part of it find out more here!

Are you taking a trip for St Patrick’s Day this year?

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