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- Posted:Tuesday, February 12, 2013
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One of the busiest times of the year for visiting Ireland is March 17th as tourists flock to the Emerald Isle to take part in the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Even though Ireland’s National Day is celebrated in cities and towns around the world, there’s something special about taking part in the festivities in Ireland, and one of the most popular places to join in on the celebrations is in Dublin.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have become a festival itself over recent years in Dublin with events running over five days this year. We take a look at what’s happening around the Irish capital for Paddy’s Day 2013...
Thursday March 14th
City at play:
There are funfairs dotted around the city all weekend which are ideal entertainment for the kids... and some ‘bigger’ kids too! Expect roller coasters, Ferris wheels and lots of fun games to battle out with your friends. You’ll find these funfairs located at Merrion Square, Wolfe Tone Park and Custom House Quay, and are open from 11am.
Irish Craft Beer Village:
Opening on Thursday for the length of the festival, the Irish Craft Beer Festival aims to celebrate the art of Irish Craft Beer which is growing more and more in pubs around the country. There’ll also be lots of beautiful Irish artisan food as well as live music. It’s all taking place in George’s Dock from 12pm daily.
Dublin Made Me - Poems of the City:
The Reading Room in The National Library is the setting for an evening of exploring Dublin through poetry and song. This event will present a selection of poems from writers from the past and present, all of which have their own story to tell about the capital. It’s a free event and starts at 6.30pm.
Friday March 15th
Festival Céilí 2013:
Get your dancing shoes on today and make your way to St. Stephen’s Green at 4.30pm to take part in the St. Patrick’s Festival’s outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing. Don’t worry, there’ll be lots of dancers and musicians at hand to teach you the moves and help bring out your inner Michael Flatley. An enjoyable evening of music, dancing and craic is guaranteed.
A Global History of the Irish Abroad:
No matter where you go in the world, you can be pretty sure that you’ll run into an Irish person! This event ties in with The Gathering theme for 2013 and promises to be a fascinating talk on the Irish abroad from acclaimed author and historian Turtle Bunbury. It takes place in Marsh’s Library from 1pm.
The Sacred Harp:
The harp is synonmous with Ireland and this event, presented by the popular radio presenter and film-maker Donal Dineen, delves into the story of the harp in Irish culture and history. Taking place in the beautiful library in Trinity College, there’ll be a presentation on the Trinity College Harp, and performances from one of Ireland’s much loved musicians Liam O’ Maonlaí. The Book of Kells is also going to be open for viewing during this event.
Saturday March 16th
The Wonder of Snakes:
Apart from bringing Christianity to Ireland, St. Patrick is also credited with banishing all the snakes from the Emerald Isle! However, today you will find a few snakes around the city as this event featuring The Herpetological Society will showcase a whole variety of snakes from 10am in the Natural History Museum. There’ll also be some storytelling of the snake-themed variety and a drawing workshop for children.
St. Patrick’s Festival 5K Road Race:
If you’re feeling fit and active over the Paddy’s Day festivities then enter the 5k Road Race. Running (no pun intended!) for the eight year in a row, it’s open to all kinds of runners and ages. There’ll also be lots of entertainment along the route including a parade of motorbikes! The race starts at 12 noon from the Mansion House on Dawson Street and finishes there too.
The Gannon Cup - Irish University Boat Races:
A popular feature of the St. Patrick’s Festival is the Irish University Boat Races that take place on the River Liffey between rivals University College Dublin (UCD) and Dublin University (Trinity College). The 2km race starts at O’Connell Bridge at 12.50pm and you can cheer them on anywhere along the river up to St. James Gate.
Sunday March 17th
St. Patrick’s Festival Parade 2013:
The highlight for many of St. Patrick’s Day is the parade that illuminates the streets of Dublin with floats, colours, dancers and musicians that entice thousands out along the streets despite the weather. Get out early to grab a good spot for the parade, it starts at Parnell Square at 12 noon and finishes just past St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The People’s Parade:
A special addition to this year’s festivities is The People’s Parade which takes place just before the big event. As part of ‘The Gathering’ festivities, 8,000 people from all across the world will be invited to walk the parade route before the original parade. The lucky participants will be able to soak up the atmosphere along the streets and see Dublin in a truly unique way.
Greening the City:
As many landmark buildings around the world are illuminated in green for St. Patrick’s Day, many of Dublin’s building will be following suit. A whole host of popular attractions and venues around the city are going green including The Mansion House, The Odeon Bar, The Custom House, National Convention Centre and more.
Monday 18th March
Festival Treasure Hunt 2013:
If you want to pack in even more to your St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Dublin then set your alarm for an early start on Monday morning for a treasure hunt. This is a free and fun filled event with base camp at City Hall on Dame Street. It’ll bring you to many of the city’s landmark buildings and popular area, solving clues and plotting a route. And there are also some great prizes up for grabs such as tours and passes to great attractions.
In the Footsteps of St. Patrick-Walking Tour:
This event runs daily throughout the festival, but we think it’ll be a great finish to all of the St. Patrick’s Festival events. This guided tour by the renowned Dublin historian and author Pat Liddy will bring you on an enticing walk around the city, focusing on St. Patrick and his time in Dublin.
Images courtesy of St. Patrick’s Festival website.