Green for 2017 - 5 Best Saint Patrick’s Day Parades

Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Dublin (www.stpatricksfestival.ie)

Dingle – At Dawn

Dingle / Daingean Uí Chúis does it best with the earliest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country. Enthusiastic revelers line the streets year after year at the crack of dawn to march along to the sound of the Dingle Fife and Drum Band, bringing a great start to the day. 

The event usually reaches St. Mary’s Church at 6.30am where the local priest offers Mass for the band and they play lively tunes. They finish up at around 7.30am to the sound of Amhrán na bhFiann, the Irish national anthem. As always in Kerry, the locals go one better as there’s also a main parade later in the day following a traditional route through the town. There are also nearby smaller parades at Ballyferriter and Castlegregory.
 
Dublin – Four Unmissable Days to be Irish

The Dublin St. Patrick’s Day parade is a must-see and has now developed in to a full Festival spanning from 16th to 19th March with visitors from all over the world. The atmosphere is electric and the number of activities expands every year. This year’s Grand Marshal, who will be leading the parade with pride, is Irish sailor and Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.
 
Over 500,000 people are anticipated to hit the streets for the main parade which will be televised and it’s estimated that over €70 million is spent by tourists over the period. It’s promised to be “the biggest and the best” and there will be over 3,000 artists, dancers, musicians, poets and performers coming together with over 30 events.
 
The events kick off with a giant Céilí at Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin on March 16th and there will be a special screening of the Jim Sheridan’s film In America later that day at Swords Castle. The big parade on March 17th starts at midday at Parnell Square with this year’s theme ‘Ireland You Are’.  
There’s a massive treasure hunt planned for March 18th, expected to attract around 4,000 people and artists will capture the ‘faces of Irish children’ at the Ark, Temple Bar. The festival will end with a giant carnival at Merrion Square on Sunday March 19th.
 
Live – from Limerick

Limerick has really bounced back on to the cultural scene in recent times and the city is thriving. ‘Our Stories: This is where we belong’ is this year’s theme for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and it is estimated that over 80,000 people will throng the streets of the city in the largest regional celebration.
 
Limerick has a different approach to the celebrations as traditionally there’s always an additional aspect to the festivities. On Sunday 19th March 2017 there will be the 47th Limerick International Band Championships.  
 
Led by the Irish Army Band, there will be amazing sounds across the city in Ireland’s only international band competition, starting at noon. Bands from Illinois, Germany, Yorkshire, Northern Ireland, Westmeath, Cashel, Clondalkin and of course Limerick will compete for an array of prizes.
 
Go to Galway

Who better than the World’s Strongest Man from Duffy’s Circus to lead the parade for the 114th anniversary of this most special of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Galway?
 
Over 30,000 spectators are expected to line up to watch 1,000 performers with the theme of ‘The Environment’. This is to mark the city’s designation as ‘European Green Leaf 2017’ – the first Irish city to win this prize. This year’s parade will be followed once again this year by a family concert that’s absolutely free at Eyre Square from 1pm to 3pm. 

The parade will come to a grand finalé with local heroes Macnas presenting their youth ensemble before Gamelan na Gaillimhe chime to announce the end of the parade with their Indonesian gongs.
 
Short on Time?

And finally, if you’re short for time on St. Patrick’s Day and merely want to get on with the reveling, why not go to the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country?  
 
The parade in the village of Oram, near Castleblayney in Co. Monaghan takes all of four minutes! It is now set to claim yet another world record – the 6th – for staging the shortest parade.  
 
Big Tom, the show-band singer is set to lead the parade and the event always draws hundreds of revelers from both sides of the border before the celebrations continue in the village sports center. “We may do things differently here – but we always do them better”, he explained.
 
Only in Ireland! Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2017.

Posted on March 15, 2017

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