Got any plans for this St. Patrick’s Day? Maybe we can help…Northern Ireland is packed with fun events, festivals, carnivals & great family days out over the long weekend. Explore our history & legends, links to St. Patrick or soak up some music & dancing at one of our many carnivals & concerts!
Explore the St. Patrick’s Trail
Visitors following the St Patrick’s Trail can start and finish at any one of the sites along the way which have been identified as having some connection to St Patrick’s life, mission or legacy. Why not start in the city of Armagh with the two St Patrick’s Cathedrals. Armagh is also home to No 5 Vicars’ Hill which contains early Christian artefacts, old maps of Armagh and a timeline providing a continuous history of religious leaders including St. Patrick.
St Patrick’s remains are buried in the graveyard attached to Down Cathedral in Downpatrick and nearby is St Tassach’s Church where he was given the last rites. Also in Downpatrick, The Saint Patrick Centre explores the legacy of Saint Patrick and his life and the Down County Museum has an impressive collection of early Christian artefacts relating to the saint. The Trail continues through North Down and along the Ards Peninsula to Grey Abbey. Saul Church is an important landmark as it was here St Patrick began his crusade to convert the Irish to Christianity.
Derry-Londonderry – 16th & 17th March
Take a trip up to the Walled City for the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival and experience a programme steeped in LegenDerry fun, history, culture and tradition where All Kinds of Everything will be brought together for a family friendly and inclusive event to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Highlights this year include street theatre, music, crafts, drama, dancing, story telling, discussion and debate, there is something for everyone to enjoy over the weekend’s celebrations.
St. Patrick’s Festival
Downpatrick – 11th – 18th March
As one of Ireland’s most ancient and historic towns, Downpatrick plays a key part in its intriguing history. Known widely as St Patrick’s town and reputed burial site of the patron saint,opportunities to learn more about the history of St Patrick, celebrate his life, explore the fabulous County Down countryside and enjoy a range of concerts, exhibitions, sporting and family events. Over 50 events will take place across the week including lots of free entertainment. There will be comedy from Jake O’Kane, the carnival parade on St. Patrick’s Day, Session Trails, Street Music competitions & an artisan food market. Get the full line-up here: discovernorthernireland.com/St-Patricks-Festival
St. Patrick’s Day Festival
Be part of Belfast’s St Patrick’s Festival and enjoy exhibitions, music, talks, arts and crafts workshops, children’s colouring competition, tea dances and films all celebrating St Patrick. The festival highlight will be the annual parade and concert on Sunday 17 March 2013. Belfast City Centre will come alive with the annual carnival parade involving community groups from throughout Belfast, professional and amateur performers, musicians and acrobats. The parade leaves Belfast City Hall at 12noon and travels to Custom House Square where there will be a free outdoor concert from 1pm-3pm with an eclectic range of entertainment, including traditional Irish, Ulster Scots, pop and multicultural music and dance.
Celebrate Saint Patrick in Armagh
Celebrate Saint Patrick in his chosen city of Armagh with a unique ten day festival featuring cultural events, traditional music, song, dance, storytelling and much more. This year’s festival includes a wide range of event to suit all tastes, highlights include The Three Priests in Concerts at S Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Traditional Music in City Centre, Busking in the City, St Patrick’s Day Parade. Trad Trail in the City & The Ulster Orchestra in Concert in St Patrick’s CoI Cathedral.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Enniskillen – 17th March
The fun starts at 1.30pm with lots of free activities including face-painting, balloon modelling, inflatable fun and other delights to tempt the sweet toothed amongst you. Returning will be the popular wakeboarding leprechauns, the RNLI as well as some new Hovercraft, Jet Skiing and Jet Pack action on display as well as a few ‘hush-hush’ surprises. The Main parade kicks off at 3.30pm with St Patrick arriving by top secret means to the sconce at the Forum before leading the parade.
St. Patrick’s Day Cultural Parade
Dungannon – 18th March
Watch Hugh O’ Neill return to lead a colourful cultural parade through the historic streets of Dungannon. This promises to be a fun filled day for all the family to visit Dungannon and see it coming alive with floats, music and live dancing followed by an open air concert with a fabulous line up.
That’s just a small taster of what’s happening – for a full list of events go to: discovernorthernireland.com/stpatrick
With so much going on this bank holiday weekend you may need to make a night of it. Check out our great value short breaks from £49 per room - and have a weekend to remember in Northern Ireland!