EnchantingIreland.com

St. Patrick's DayExperience St. Paddy's Festivals in Ireland

I have never been to Ireland during St. Patrick's Day and with the arrival of a new baby, I'm not sure I'll be getting there anytime soon but, I've sent clients and they've come back raving about a great time! In fact, I got worried about a client who didn't respond to my emails for a few days and eventually phone calls. Finally, he got back to me to let me know that he "shattered [his] ankle rushing Croke Park after a hurling match -- the BEST vacation EVER!" So, spending time in Ireland during St. Patrick's Day really is an adventure for anyone.

March 17th is celebrated throughout the world and in Ireland, the festivities extend over five full days of events, music and lots of craic!

Dublin St. Patrick's Day Festivities

www.stpatricksfestival.ie

With Dublin as the capital and largest city in Ireland, you're in for thousands of onlookers lining a parade route that typically starts on St. Patrick's Day itself. Filled with street theater troupes, dancers, marching bands and artists, you'll need plenty of memory for your camera to capture it all. Shops, pubs and much of the city will light up in green for the duration, showing their Irish pride. As the sun sets you'll find music at the National Concert Hall with bands the like of Kilfenora Céilí Band which traces its roots back to the 1800s. Ask about events a St. Stephen's Green with the official Festival Céilí and keep an eye out for fireworks!

Belfast St. Patrick's Day Festivities

www.bekfastcity.gov.uk/events/stpatricksday

Belfast celebrates St. Patrick's Day with a carnival that takes over the streets of the city center. You'll find amateur performers, musicians, acrobats and community groups in a parade from Belfast City Hall and finishing at Custom House Square.

Clare St. Patrick's Day Festivities

www.shannonheritage.com

If you're landing on the west coast, Bunratty Castle is the place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day as St. Patrick himself and his leprechauns make special appearances throughout the village. You'll also find the Traditional Irish Night entertainers performing Bunratty Folk Park as well.

Cork St. Patrick's Day Festivities

www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie

With more than 2,000 participants, Cork's St. Patrick's Festival will give any reveler a chance to get their Irish on when in the city. The entire city lights up with events, Irish music, free live public performances for every age. Enjoy food markets with artisan produce while the street performers and circus acts entertain.

Cobh St. Patrick's Day Events

www.seeyouincobh.com

The town of Cobh in County Cork also hosts a parade through the town along with traditional music.

Galway St. Patrick's Day Events

www.stpatricksgalway.com

While Dublin may be the largest parade, Galway is generally considered the best in Ireland, full of pipe bands, dance groups, performance artists and community groups. Many converge on Ireland from throughout the world each year to take part in the parade. The charm is that the parade is small enough that everyone feels like a part of it rather than lost in it, including spectators who line the route from start to finish.

Kerry St. Patrick's Day Events

If you're in Killarney or Tralee, you'll find parades to celebrate St. Patrick's day as both towns are famous musical towns so expect lots of craic and ceol over the weekend. There's also a parade in Castleisland which is getting bigger and better every year with participants joining from surranding parishes like Farranfore, Currow, Ballymcelligott, Brosna, Knocknagoshel, Scartaglen and Currans.

Limerick St. Patrick's Day Events

Growing each year, Limerick hosts one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country. You'll find bands from all over Ireland as well as the United States, Germany, England and many other European countries as well. Plenty of live music and street performers to entertain locals and tourists alike.

Tullamore Offaly St. Patrick's Day Parade

With an anticipated crowd of up to 10,000, Tullamore's parade is quite large for an off-the-beaten-path location. Imaginative floats, Ceoltas groups and dancers, lively bands ... you won't want to miss this parade!

Sligo St. Patrick's Day Festival

Follow the food trails and Sligo celebrates both St. Patrick as well as food! Take in a few cooking demonstrations with world-class chefs when taking a break from the parade through Sligo town. Don't forget the "World Irish Stew" competition!

Waterford St. Patrick's Day Festival

Waterford was the first city in Ireland to declare St. Patrick's Day a national holiday in 1903 and the whole city comes alive for the festivities. Enjoy free entertainment throughout the city with Irish bands playing in John Roberts Square after the parade.