It’s not every day that we get to really celebrate what it means to be Irish. That could be why the St Patrick’s Day festival has always been Ireland’s favourite family outings.
Most of us have a favourite St Patrick’s Day memory; from sitting on our dad’s shoulders, waving a flag bigger than ourselves, to enjoying a great live trad band down in the local pub, our faces covered in green, white and orange paint.
The St Patrick’s Day parade begins its magical march at 12PM from Parnell Square in Dublin and should be the family favourite that it always is; especially this year as the much-loved Brendan O’Carroll of Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie fame will be leading the big parade as Festival Marshall. The theme of the 2015 St Patrick’s Day parade is ‘celebrate now’, But the St Patrick’s Day fun doesn’t stop at the parade.
This year, festival organisers have promised us four days’ worth of festivities and cultural delights. This means that Dublin City will be turned into an artistic haven, with fun installations, street performers and other entertaining treats.
You can experience the best bits of the 2015 St Patrick’s Day Festival, with this list of family friendly St. Patrick’s Day activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy over the course of Ireland’s most famous festival.
1. Funfair Festivities
Everyone loves the thrill of a good old-fashioned funfair; the smell of candy-floss, lights, games and shouts of excitement.
The St Patrick’s Day funfair takes place over the course of four days and is a much anticipated part of the festival, so make sure you squeeze it into your plans and drop on in to either of its locations. The amusements this year will be taking place on Merrion Square and Custom House Quay from Saturday 14th March – Tuesday 17th, so the fun will be easy to attend whether you are coming from the North or South side of the city.
Merrion Square Dates & Times
Saturday 14th: 11am – 10pm
Sunday 15th, Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th March: 11am to 8pm
Custom House Dates & Times
Saturday 14th March: 11am-10pm
Sunday 15th & Tuesday 17th March: 11am-8pm
2. Ceili House Live
There’s no better way to dive into the heart of the Irish party tradition than to get lost in the rhythm of an Irish Ceili. This year, RTE Radio 1 is teaming up with the St Patrick’s Day Festival to produce ‘Ceili House Live’, a musical performance of traditional song and dance in the iconic and beautiful backdrop of the National Concert Hall. The cream of the crop of Irish trad musicians will be claiming their place on this hallowed stage. You can enjoy performances by TRIAD, as well as the soulful Karen Casey and the exhilarating fiddle trio Fidil, all of whom will be complimented by a host of talented trad dancers.
National Concert Hall
Saturday 14th March 8pm
3. Festival Treasure Hunt
Trinity Exam Hall, College Green
Saturday 14th March 10am
Find your inner adventurer and explore Dublin city in the St Patrick’s Day Festival treasure hunt. Treasure hunts are always firm favourites for kids (and some of their parents too). All you need to do is imagine a city-sized game of hide and seek, with hundreds of kids and parents discovering the hidden corners and archways of urban Dublin with a big prize to be won; no wonder it is such a highly anticipated event! I’ll be at the front of the crowd, so see you there!
4. I Love My City Cultural Events
Dublin’s culture, both old and new, will really be brought to life with the ‘I Love My City’ programme which will be taking place in small bursts of activity around Dublin over the four days of the St Patrick’s Day Festival. A collection of artists from all areas of Irish culture will be headlining 16 events over the course of the day in various locations around Dublin City. The events include workshops, musical performances, dance acts, literature readings and visual art. Full details of the programme will be revealed soon, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure that you don’t miss out on these wonderful events!
Saturday 14th – Tuesday 17th March
5. Music in the City
I’m really looking forward to the Music in the City event as soul, reggae and even a contemporary choir take to the streets of Dublin. Luckily for those eclectic music aficionados among us, all this musical fun will be happening around St Stephen’s Green North and Powerscourt Townhouse on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th, so you won’t have to stray far from the centre of Dublin City if you want to catch a few different acts in the same day. Some of the stellar performers to grace this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival include the Interskalastic Brass Band and acoustic-electro pianist Conor Walsh.
St Stephen’s Green North
Saturday 14th – Sunday 15th