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All You Need To Know: Here's What To Check Out During The Four-Day St Patrick’s Festival

By katedemolder

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am


This year's St Patrick's Festival is genuinely bigger than ever, covering all bases from theatre to music to food to sport. There is quite literally something for everyone, no mean feat.

We had a look at the impressive list of events, and scoped out some of the coolest and best things for you to check out over the long weekend. You're absolutely spoiled for choice. 

1. Thursday, March 17

The St Patrick's Festival Parade 

A no brainer really, it's the main event. This year it kicks off at Parnell Square at 12pm, and is even bigger, better and brighter than before. 

This year's Grand Marshall is the youngest ever, at 19, it's the inspirational Joanne O'Riordain. And with 'Imagine If...' being the theme of this year's shindig, you know you're in for some incredible artistry.

Irish Craft Beer and Whiskey Tasting

A true celebration of beer, cider, whiskey, artisan food and entertainment in the main hall of the RDS, this is a really deadly way to sample some of the best Ireland has to offer.

With it being totally indoors, you don't have to worry about the weather, and at the reasonable entrance fee of €10, you're not breaking the bank either. Treat yourself to a masterclass and hone your skills, and listen to some live music while you're at it.

Street Theatre

The streets come alive on Paddy's Day, with some wildly impressive street theatre to be seen all over the city. There are different acts allocated all across the city at different times, all across the weekend, so be sure not to miss out on some of Ireland's best and most talented actors, dancers and performers.

The Four Handed Guitarist is the one to check out on Friday night; he plays five-minute concerts in this lavish, tiny Victorian theatre inside a horsebox. If that hasn't caught your attention, then I don't know what will.


A platform dedicated to our national tongue, on our national day. Brush up on your cúpla focal and get yourself to Earlsfort Terrace on Thursday afternoon to join in on the tírghrá. With celebrity guests, and some cracking live music, you're sure to enjoy yourself whether you're fluent or not.

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2. Friday, March 18

Music In The City

Get down to either St. Annes Church, Powerscourt, Barnardo’s Square, National Gallery or Stephens Green Shopping Centre this coming Friday, as the streets are set to be filled with the musical stylings of international artists, all outstanding in their fields. 

With everything from a cappella to modern Briton music being touched upon, there's sure to be something to tickle your fancy. All events are completely free, and are guaranteed to be completely wicked. 

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

Taking place in the beautiful suburb of Howth, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival is a celebration of Irish food at its very best. What better way to celebrate your day off than to tuck into some world-class prawns, right on your doorstep. An absolute must for any foodie.

Starting things up at 1pm, the festival is also famous for music & entertainment, walks, talks and seaside antics.

Greening The City

This does exactly what it says on the tin. A list of dozens of buildings around the country are literally being lit up green for the night, Friday evening at 6pm to be exact, in support of the Patrick's Day festival. It's part of their 'Go Green' initiative, and is set to be really cool. Definitely one for the budding photographers amongst you.

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3. Saturday, March 19

The Irish Breakfast: Afternoon Talks

The Irish Breakfast is an exploration into the past, present and future of breakfast food in Ireland, through a detailed afternoon of talks, tastings and debates inside the monumentally beautiful Royal Society of Antiquaries. 

Set to kick off at the hilariously precise time of 11:59am, some of the best chefs, presenters and general merrimakers of the country will be filling us in as to what truly is the perfect breakfast, what was previous to now, and what will be in years to come.

Older than Ireland, plus Q&A with stars from the film

Older than Ireland is a landmark documentary that tells the story of a hundred years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish centenarians. Boasting both humour and poignancy, the film explore their respective journeys from youth to now, as a centenarian in modern day Ireland.

Starting at 2pm, with a follow-up Q&A after the viewing, set in the undeniably gorgeous setting of The National Gallery, this will definitely portray an interesting insight that not many will have witnessed before.

look-see RUN

This is not, I repeat NOT, for the faint hearted. The Festival in association with performance mavericks THEATRE club conspire with a group of teenagers you’ve never met to give you a tour around town.

We might add that this is a performance disguised as a walk, that is sometimes a talk, and you may have to run. An interesting way to get around the city, and a chance to encounter some of Ireland's up and coming stars. Think of it as a theatrical way to get some exercise.

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4. Sunday, March 20

Big Day Out

This 'fun for all the family' event is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Merrion Square will be transformed into a rousing day-long carnival, bursting with energy, colour and whimsical antics. Starting at 11:55am, it's suitable for all, with sensational theatre, insane workshops and live music on offer.

Properly fun for big kids, too.

Future Composers by Ensemble Music

Future Composers brings together three of Ireland’s most innovative new music ensembles – The Dublin Laptop Orchestra, Kirkos Ensemble, and Tonnta – to perform works by emerging Irish composers for electronics, acoustic instruments, and voices respectively.

It culminates in all three groups joining forces to perform a new large-scale work by award-winning composer Linda Buckley, specially commissioned for the event. It's set to be one of the most interesting musical projects of the year, with quite every genre you can think of being touched upon. 7pm in The Chocolate Factory, this is every modern music lovers dream gig.

The Ultimate Sunday

The most perfect, cosy Sunday and ideal way to round off the weekend. This event is based around cultured chats, sweet sounds, live comedy, proper coffee, board games and killer sandwiches, all in the ornate surrounds of Belvedere House.

Kicking things off at noon on the Sunday, with talks about everything from history to fashion to sport, all you need to do is sit back and take it all in. And with the dress code being 'Slippers: Optional', you know you're in the right place.

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READ NEXT: 23 Irish Phrases To Blag Your Way Through Paddy's Day


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