There’s no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than Ireland itself. No matter where you are in the country, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the celebrations. So if you’ve moved to Ireland recently, you’re in for a treat as you’re about to experience your first authentic Paddy’s Day festival. Read on to see just what makes this festival so special, and plan how you can make the most of your day in Dublin.
A Hundred Thousand Welcomes
Of course, it’s no surprise that an event of this nature sees a huge number of visitors flock to Ireland to join in on the festivities. And there’s nothing the Irish love more than hosting and sharing this magic with others. A common Irish phrase for Irish people – ‘céad míle fáilte’ literally translates as ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’, and this is certainly the feeling around Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.
Local parades and festivals take place all over the country on the 17th, but in Dublin, St.Patrick’s Festival takes over the entire city from the 16th – 19th of March. Spreading from the docklands to the suburbs, there’s something for everyone at 2017’s edition ranging from funfairs to open air cinema events. Even if you choose not to take part in any of the festivities happening around the country, you can immerse yourself in this national holiday simply by taking a stroll around the city. Wherever you go, you’ll see iconic buildings like the GPO and Christchurch Cathedral lit up in green to welcome you into the fold.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you should make your way to the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival which takes place in the scenic fishing village of Howth. Only 20 minutes away from the city centre by train, you’ll get to enjoy cookery demonstrations, street entertainment and the freshest seafood.
City Centre Festivities
If you’d rather stay in the city centre, Teeling Whiskey Distillery is hosting a ‘Spirit of Dublin’ Craft and Food Fair. Home to the only operational distillery in the city, there’ll be guided tours throughout the day and lots of local food samples to sink your teeth into! If you have some more time to kill, The Secret Session takes over the RDS for an indoor festival to celebrate everything Irish. Live music, dancing and rugby will be on offer to those over 18 only.
For something a little more low-key, a storytelling session with Brendan Nolan is a wonderful way to unwind after the parade and further delve into Irish culture with a real Dublin storyteller. This is a free event, suitable for all ages. Don’t forget to register for tickets and take a look at the other great St. Patrick’s festival activities taking place this year.
A Tech Angle on the Day
For something entirely different, GamerCon is taking place in The Convention Centre, Dublin on Saturday 18th and 19th of March. This is set to be Ireland’s largest ever gaming event and is suitable for the whole family. The event includes five different zones with something to please every gamer from YouTubers to a Retro Zone.
Get all the latest updates on Virtual Reality and stock up on new gaming merch at their Merch Market. Or if you want to immerse yourself completely in the event, indulge in some Cosplay and you’ll be in with the chance of winning prizes on the day. Best in show will take home a top prize of €1,000. Tickets are available from €15 per adult or family tickets from €80.
Something for everyone is an understatement when we talk about St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. And the atmosphere simply can’t be beaten. Come see for yourself!