*Update: All mass events have now been cancelled
Where to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland
1. St Patrick’s Festival Dublin, 13 – 17 March 2020
Dublin’s St Patrick’s Festival is the most well known of festivals in Ireland, with its parade broadcast live each year. The festival is a celebration of Ireland expressed through the talents, achievements and creativeness of its people.
What to expect: street parades, céilis, music, poetry, sing-alongs, film screenings, workshops, and history walks. Expect to see a number of iconic Dublin landmarks turn green across the city. A cultural explosion with a ton of ‘craic agus ceol’ (fun and music) with added heaps of shamrocks, tricolours and leprechaun hats thrown in for good measure.
2. Cork St Patrick’s Festival, 13 -17 March 2020
What to expect: a parade, music, talks and walks, competitions, and iconic landmark buildings such as the Cork City Hall lit up green. The parade however is the biggest celebration of the festival. Starting at the South Mall, floats, performers, associations, and clubs make their way through the city. It’s a celebration that often has a few surprises thrown in. Once there was a marriage proposal mid-parade!
3. Galway St Patrick’s Day Festival, 14 – 17 March 2020
Galway’s St Patrick’s Day Festival celebrates its 117th anniversary in 2020 with events across various locations across the city over four days.
What to expect: a parade, art, music, film, poetry and workshops. The festival is full of cultural appreciation for both young and more mature amongst us. The Galway St Patrick’s Day Parade is the highlight of the city’s celebrations and takes place through the city on March 17th.
4. Limerick St Patrick’s Festival, 15 – 17 March 2020
Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival celebrates with over 30 events taking place throughout the city along with a grand parade on March 17th. The theme for St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2020 is, appropriately, “Our Future is Green”.
What to expect: parades – in the city as well as towns and villages throughout the county, music, performances, the arts and lots of entertainment for all the family. The Limerick City parade is the highlight, when it’s expected that thousands of participants will take part along a two-kilometre route. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s only International Band Championship. On Sunday 15th March, 2,000 musicians from Ireland, Europe and America will fill the city’s streets with music.
5. St Patrick’s Festivities Kilkenny, 11-17 March 2020
Kilkenny offers visitors a number of family friendly festivities throughout its festival, with this years important message of ‘BIOdiversity…every creature counts’.
What to expect: a parade through the city, a vintage funfair, a Viking Village, a Try the Pipes taster session alongside gifted uilleann pipers, family games, dancing, music and entertainment throughout the city. Bang on the Fuinneamh Drum. Soak up the cultural talents of locals and make some music yourself during the Kilkenny St Patrick’s Festivities.
6. Carlow St. Patrick’s Festival, 17 March 2020
Following the success of last year’s St Patrick’s Day parade, Carlow town will be celebrating St Patrick again in 2020 with the aim to grow the festival into a major affair.
What to expect: the theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Carlos at its best’. Expect a parade full of floats and family fun, live music and street entertainment.
7. St Patrick’s Festival Cill Áirne, 13 – 18 March 2020
St Patrick’s Festival Killarney is promising to treat its visitors and participants to a great show this year with its theme being “Earth”.
What to expect: a parade, street entertainment, children’s zone, ceili, music and dancing. The highlight of Killarney’s St Patrick’s Day festival is on March 17th when the town comes together for pre-parade celebrations, a lively parade through the town and plenty of entertainment for all ages.
Check out our guide to the best Festivals in Ireland, month by month.
Why not travel to Northern Ireland for more St Patrick’s Day Parades & Festivals
Belfast St Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade & Concert, Northern Ireland, 17 March 2019
Scheduled for a day but usually celebrated all weekend, the Belfast St Patrick’s Day Parade & Concert takes place throughout the city on March 17th.
What to expect: a carnival parade full of floats, performers and music that begins at Belfast City Hall and works its way through to the city. The theme for 2020 is “Protecting the Environment and Climate Change”. The celebrations don’t stop when it ends at Writers Square because the next step is the St Patrick’s Day Concert. This free daytime event takes place at Custom House Square, with special guests this year German dance ensemble Cascada. Here you can expect lots of moving and shaking. And not just from the artists on stage.
Home of St Patrick Festival, Armagh, Northern Ireland, 6 – 17 March 2020
Did you know that St Patrick founded his first large stone church in Armagh in 445AD? His goal was to establish the city as the country’s spiritual capital. And so for those celebrating his life it only makes sense that Armagh celebrates St Patrick’s Day through the aptly named ‘Home Of Saint Patrick Festival’.
What to expect: a procession, parade, music, performances, film screenings, walks and talks. The festival includes family friendly events and is spread across eleven days at a number of venues in Armagh town and county.
See how to turn 28 days of leave into 60 days of travel.
*Updated February 2020. Information correct at the time of publication and is subject to change and/or availability.
St Patrick’s Day 2020: Best places to celebrate in Ireland – at a glance
|Events & festivities||When?|
|1. St Patrick’s Festival Dublin||13 – 17 March 2020|
|2. Cork St Patrick’s Festival||13 -17 March 2020|
|3. Galway St Patrick’s Day Festival||14 – 17 March 2020|
|4. Limerick St Patrick’s Festival||15 – 17 March 2020|
|5. St Patrick’s Festivities Kilkenny||11-17 March 2020|
|6. Carlow St. Patrick’s Festival||17 March 2020|
|7. St Patrick’s Festival Cill Áirne||13 – 18 March 2020|
|Belfast St Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade & Concert, Northern Ireland||17 March 2019|
|Home of St Patrick Festival, Armagh, Northern Ireland||6 – 17 March 2020|