NEW FOR 2017 A Guided Tour of Ireland's Hidden Gems with Irish expert Susan Byron

Last Minute March Madness Reductions !!!

St Patrick's Day Parades

There are now 100s of St Patrick's Day parades throughout Ireland and many of the smaller more local ones are just as much fun as the big ones in Dublin, Cork and Galway. So don't feel too disappointed if you cannot make it to Dublin on the day, even though it is the longest running and best, I am a Dubliner wouldn't you know! What started out as a Military Parade with marching bands, that then got relegated to Easter Sunday to commerate the 1916 rising eventually dying out altogether in favour of the much larger St Patrick Day Parade that it is today. Which has grown year on year with the participation of groups of visiting marching, dancing and pipe bands from all over the world, including brave barelegged cheerleaders from the USA and our own little Irish dancing girls, scouts and guides, all decked out in their uniforms, often blue with the cold....

St Patricks Day Parade, IrelandSt Patrick's Day, Ireland

What really reved it up a notch was the participation of Macnas, a small community based theatre company from Galway who invent fantastic, giant size, mechanical creatures and characters for use in street theatre, parades, particularly the Galway Arts Festival. Often copied but never matched, Macnas is an Irish word which means 'joyful abandonment' which is a perfect description, they now have a signature entry every year as well as their very own parade at home in Galway...

Macnas mechanical horse on paradeMacnas mechanical horse on parade

So, it justs gets bigger and more spectacular every year with some 700,000 people thronging the streets of the capital on the day. With luck (of the Irish) it will be sunny and warm, which always brings out the best in us ! But it doesnt really matter about the weather either as there is so much to do and see in Dublin, not just on St Patricks Day but everyday, like the Guinness and Jameson centres who both host parties and special events on the day and most pubs throughout the city have free music sessions if you can get into any of them, they are usually thronged. But never mind people watching on St Patricks day is the best as everyone does gets dressed up especially the kids, there will be pint sized St Patricks running loose everywhere, even the dogs on the street know that.....

Irish twins, two sisters born a year apart!Irish twins, two sisters born a year apart enjoying the parade in Limerick 2016

To sample the atmosphere and whet your appetite for a visit to Ireland you can watch the following video of the 2012 St Patricks Day parade in Dublin here.

For information on Galway please click here

To return to the St Patricks Day Festival page click here

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Irelands Hidden Gems