It’s the week to think about all things green with St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday (17th March). There's lots of festivities taking place around the country, so start your Green thinking by booking rail travel to get some of the celebrations.
Also for GAA fans, there's plently of football and hurling taking place over the weekend. Treat the family to a special Green day out by rail by taking one of our services to the match.
It's the year of The Gathering too, and below are just some of the events taking place around the country which we can take you to, so why not join the parade and celebrate your Irishness!
St. Patrick's Festival, 14th to 18th March
St. Patrick's Festival showcases all that is good about Ireland. The festival creates a carnival atmosphere with street theatre and performance, pageantry, spectacle, music, dance, literature, comedy, film and family events are presented as part of the diverse world class programme.
Here are just some of the highlights:
Thursday 14th : Trad Stage, Meeting House Sq, Temple Bar, 19:30: Three of Ireland’s most recognised names in traditional Irish music join forces for a special live stage show, during this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival. Creating an intimate atmosphere in Dublin’s bustling city centre. Trad Stage will feature the band Guidewires, with their high-energy performances, breath-taking arrangements and infectious melodies; Liam Ó Maonlaí, one of Ireland’s best Sean Nós (traditional Irish) singers on piano, tin whistle, bodhrán and vocals; and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, traditional Irish singer, pianist and composer, who is considered to be one of the most influential female Irish vocalists. This is an evening not to be missed!
Friday 15th: Festival Céilí, St. Stephen’s Green, 16:30: You don’t have to be Jean Butler or Michael Flatley to be part of the Festival’s outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing. Learn the steps, enjoy live traditional music and soak up the atmosphere on the streets of Dublin. Dance the evening away and enjoy the jigs and reels, even if you do have two left feet!
Saturday 16th: SuperValu Big Day Out, 12:00: A street carnival like no other, SuperValu Big Day Out is bursting with colour, street performances, theatrics, Irish language events, workshops, fun zones, music, open air shows and more. SuperValu Big Day Out will feature workshops, dancing fun for kids and mesmerizing musical performances. Set in stunning Georgian Dublin there are treats in store for all ages and tastes! Drop by the GaelSpraoi area ‘An Puball Gaeilge’ which presents a jam-packed programme for the whole family! Bain sult as an teanga agus as an fhéile! Come along and join in the fun!
Sunday 17th: People’s Parade, City Centre, 11:00
As part of The Gathering Ireland 2013 for the first time ever, St. Patrick’s Festival is inviting up to 8,000 people around the world to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin on 17 March 2013.
Participants in The People’s Parade will march in procession through the streets of Dublin, passing many historic landmarks along the way including the GPO, Trinity College, Dublin Castle and City Hall.
Sunday 17th: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, City Centre, 12:00
The Parade begins on Parnell Square and continues on to O’Connell Street and over O’Connell Bridge to Westmoreland Street. It then winds its way down Dame Street and Lord Edward Street passes by Christchurch Cathedral and along Patrick Street where it finishes just past St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Monday 18th: Festival Treasure Hunt, Dame St, from 10:00
The Festival Treasure Hunt is a free, fun-filled and novel trail through a collection of Dublin city’s landmark buildings and venues. Plot your route, solve the clues and race back to base at Dublin’s City Hall to finish and record your adventure! This is an exciting event for all ages and a great way to discover the city, or to see it through different eyes, with entertainment throughout the day!
Tradfest 16th and 17th March
Kilkenny’s newest festival will burst onto the scene this St. Patrick’s Weekend.The grounds of Kilkenny Castle will be transformed into Ireland's biggest traditional music venue when the inaugural Tradfest gets into full swing over the St. Patrick’s Weekend.
Thousands of people are expected to descend upon the marble city to enjoy a hooley to beat all hooleys with some of the best live traditional music, song and dance led by some of Ireland's most talented musicians, including Beoga, Electric CeilÌ, Tèada (with Seamus Begley) and local musicians aplenty.
Other TradFest treats include sean nÛs singing workshops with last year’s Nell NÌ ChroinÌn and sean-nÛs dancing with Ger Butler, uilleann pipes and flute masterclasses with master piper Harry Bradley, fiddle classes with Anthony McCauley, and free set dancing workshops on the streets of Kilkenny. Local pubs will also be getting into the spirit of things with music on the menus as part of a lively Trad Trail, and the annual community parade will take place on St. Patrick’s day at 2pm.
To round it all off, St. Patrick’s night will see a very special gig featuring Kilkenny resident Iarla ” Lionaird playing with the world renowned Clare fiddle player Martin Hayes and the acclaimed American guitarist Dennis Cahill at the Set Theatre.
Bray St. Patrick’s Festival 9th to 18th of March.
Yet again a huge ten days of events bursting at the seams with activities and entertainment are planned for all the family. The major events are the funfair at the seafront (9th-18th March) and Funday (Saturday 16th March) on the main street of Bray.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the parade will start at 3pm at the Town hall and finish at the Seafront. With 1500 participants, it’s advised to get there early to soak up the atmosphere.
Monday 18th March, why not head to the Civic Centre, Main Street, Bray for SKYWORKS, a huge fireworks display which kicks off at 7pm.
Cork St Patrick’s Festival 16th to 18th March
This festival is expected to attract over 80,000 people to the city and events begin on Saturday March 16 with live music from drumming sensations Torann, funk and soul from the Blue Jays and bluesfrom groove masters Souldriven. Experience thrilling on street performances as renowned Galway based Street Performers Macnas bring their show “The Inventor and the Cockroach” to the Cork St Patrick’s Festival for the first time.
Prepare to be entertained by international mime artists, jugglers, sword swallowers and magicians as a host of street performances from all over the world. Don’t miss Ballonatic, one of Britain’s most extravagant balloon artist and colourful stilt-walkers and acrobatics from Cork Circus. Beginning at 1pm on Sunday March 17, the Cork St Patrick’s Parade will be led by the Grand Marshall, The Lord Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee.
Giant Puppets by acclaimed Puppeteers Dowtcha Puppets will weave their way through the streets of Cork. Cork Community Art Link’s steam punk inspired water circuit machine accompanied by elegant Corkonian Gondolas, and a large Venus Float with lavish live mermaids is sure to impress. Cork Comhaltas, the Céile All Stars and Ireland’s premier Jump Jive Swing Band The Roaring Forties will provide musical entertainment throughout St Patrick’s Day on the Main Stage on St Patrick’s Street. The Festival continues on Monday March 18 with an eclectic mixture of live music from The Dustbusters, Ray Barron and Friends and the popular Waterford Band The Jam Tarts. The streets will be filled with street performers including Marcel So a wonderful Mime Artist, renowned Dublin magician Jack Wise and Acrobatic and Dance Artists Sorcaluba. Enjoy tasty treats and sample local Cork Foods each day from over 40 artisan and food stalls at the Barry’s Tea Market, which is located on the Grand Parade and the Boardwalk South Mall.
The Festival will be brought to a close on Monday afternoon March 18 by singer John Spillane who will perform live in his own inimitable style on the Main Stage on Patrick’s Street.
St.Patrick's Festival, Limerick, 16th to 18th March
Limerick’s St Patrick’s Festival will entertain like never before with highly acclaimed street theatre group Macnas set to interact with and enthral spectators at this year’s parade on Sunday, 17th March at 12 noon.
Macnas will perform their show ‘The Cockroach and the Inventor’ during the Limerick St Patrick’s Day parade which regularly attracts up to 70,000 spectators. This year’s parade is pulling out all the stops with a 14 ft St Patrick statue leading the procession as Grand Marshal.
The statue was chosen to lead Ireland’s largest regional parade to coincide with the ‘Parade of Patrick’s’ participating in this year’s event, when hundreds will dress up as Ireland’s patron saint in an attempt to break the record for the most St Patrick’s in one place.
One of the big highlights of the Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival is the 43rd International Band Championship when 21 bands from all over Ireland, the USA and Europe will compete to be crowned Overall Parade Champion on Monday, 18th March at 12 noon.
The Band Championship will start at the Crescent on O’Connell Avenue and end in Arthur’s Quay with a free concert for the public in Arthur’s Quay Park.
Limerick’s festival weekend is packed full of events including a trad trail, festival club and the Kilfenora Céili Band at the Limerick St Patrick’s Festival Céili Mór on Saturday, 16th March!
St. Patrick's Festival, Galway 16 to 18th March
St Patrick's Festival Galway is a platform to showcase local artists and community groups. It aims to celebrate the cities diverse culture and talent through an inclusive programme of events. They aim to create a carnival atmousphere that the whole city can be part of and they do.
The theme for this year's festival is "The History of Galway" and rest assured it will be diverse, exciting and will form a major part of the Parade, and will also take in the numerous events which will take place in the run up to the day itself. There will be a variety of artistic displays in a series of theatre, street and art events which will take place from Sunday 17th March 2013.
A St. Patrick's Day Timetable is in operation this weekend, so don't forget to check train times before travelling.
If you want to share more ideas on where to go, what to do, or any events that are taking place this St. Patrick's weekend which are accessible by rail, please comment below and let us know!