Enjoy the Ultimate St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin
Whether you’ll have the entire family kitted out in green, white, and gold this St. Patrick’s Day or you’re just looking forward to the opportunity of a day off, March 17 is a big day for everybody in Ireland. And it’s not even just St. Patrick’s Day any more – now the festival can last up to a week, with everything from drumming and dancing to comedy and cooking slotting into the colourful annual arts festival. If you are visiting Dublin this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll discover a carnival atmosphere that will ignite your sense of Irish pride (even if you’re not Irish at all).
Starting on March 14th, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival is a four-day bonanza showcasing the spectacular festival parade on March 17th. Daily events include funfairs, a craft beer village, and walking tours following in the footsteps of St. Patrick. In the evenings, Dublin businesses and iconic venues including Trinity College, the GPO, and Christchurch will be illuminated in green light, flying the Irish flag to indicate their national pride. Other events include treasure hunts, ceilis, concerts, talks, but the main event is the parade on March 17th. The parade starts at noon on Parnell Square, winding up O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge, and through Westmoreland Street, Dame Street, and Lord Edward Street, before passing Christchurch Cathedral and finishing just after St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Irish Craft Beer & Food Market
You won’t find much green beer here: The emphasis is on quality Irish craft brews and whiskey, as well as delicious food produced by passionate artisans from the best Irish ingredients. This is a covered market (inside CHQ in the IFSC, Dublin 1), so the famously changeable Irish weather won’t dampen your enthusiasm as you browse the stalls, take in a master class, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and live music. The market is open daily from 10am to 8pm Thursday March 13 to Monday March 17, and the beer & whiskey bar opens Thursday 13th at 5pm, and runs daily from 12.30pm – 10pm.
Located at three sites across the city, the funfairs have become a perennial festival favourite, offering young and old a range of stellar attractions from carousels to roller-coasters. You’ll find them at Merrion Square West, Wolfe Tone Park, and Custom House Quay, with each one open from Friday March 14 to Monday March 17. Opening hours vary, with the Custom House fairground sparking up at 10am and the other two getting going at 11am.
You just can’t have a St. Patrick’s Festival without a proper ceili, and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival certainly delivers, with the biggest gathering of Irish dancing enthusiasts you are ever likely to witness. Even if you have never danced a step in your life, come down to St. Stephen’s Green at 4.30pm on Friday March 14 and get ready to learn some steps and get moving to live, traditional music. The craic will be mighty.
There will be plenty more to keep you entertained and enthralled in Dublin this St. Patrick’s weekend, with street performers, boat races, a treasure hunt, and a road race, and if you’d like to get out of the city and see how the rest of Ireland celebrates its national feast day, hire a car in Dublin for the affordable, flexible transport option.