St Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated across the world and we have been looking around to find you some free events in London and other cities in the UK:
The London St Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is now in its 14th year and attracts over 150,000 people. It has become a destination event, which showcases the best of Irish music, song dance, culture and arts.
Accessible to all audiences, the festival aims to transfer the experience of Irish culture to all Londoners and visitors. Organised by the Mayor of London with the support of many Irish businesses, the festival works closely with many Irish cultural organisations, musicians and artists. Held on the Sunday closest to 17 March, the 2015 event will take place on Sunday 15 March 2015 in the iconic Trafalgar Square.
The parade celebrates both the deep roots of Irish communities in London and also the present-day energy and vibrance of Irishness in London and beyond. The theme for this year’s parade is ‘World of Dance’ and we invite all London dance groups to come and help us celebrate the rich heritage of dance within Irish culture. The parade will feature spectacular pageantry, wonderful floats, marching bands from across the UK, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools.
On the day, the focal point for celebrations will be Trafalgar Square, where a free St Patrick’s Day festival promotes the best of Irish music, song, culture, arts and dance. The latter category is especially well-represented this year as the St Patrick’s Day parade’s theme is World of Dance. Performers from the lauded Irish dance production Riverdance will take to the main stage on the day, with other acts including the Commitments and Irish folk group Kila also scheduled to appear.
The London Irish Comedy Festival will also host a comedy tent on the day – entry is free – and the line-up is set to include Irish comedians Eric Lalor, Barry Murphy and Roísín Conaty. Also on Trafalgar Square and in the surrounding area on the day, Irish dance lessons will be available, a food market will sell Irish produce, Irish language classes will be held and the St Patrick’s Day Film Festlval, in Leicester Square’s Prince Charles Cinema, will show acclaimed Irish films.
Beyond Trafalgar Square, Ireland’s national day is felt right through the city with the parade commencing at Piccadilly at midday and then completing a 1.5-mile route through central London – it passes landmarks such as the Ritz and Piccadilly Circus before arriving at Whitehall. Numerous London and Irish dance groups will participate, and the parade is also set to feature pageantry, floats, marching bands and sports clubs.
Official celebrations at Trafalgar Square end at around 6pm but you can expect various bars and restaurants in Soho and around to host special events well into the evening.
If you are not in London, there are parades taking place in a city near you:
2015 Birmingham St Patricks Day Parade
Sunday 15 March 2015
Everyone loves a parade – but especially the Irish. Birmingham’s St Patrick’s Parade goes back a very long way, originally started by the community to reinforce their identity and ensure their strong links with the home country. The parade returned to its original route Digbeth in 1996 and has since grown enormously in stature.
This year Birmingham’s St Patricks Parade promises to be the best yet, being Birmingham’s biggest community event! Whilst being unmistakably Irish at the core, the Parade increasingly mirrors the fantastic diversity of our ethnicities as we welcome guest appearances from other communities. What could be more Irish than extending hospitality?
2015 Crawley Fleadh & Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Sunday March 22nd, 2015
Crawley’s Annual Saint Patrick’s Parade takes place on the first Sunday after Saint Patrick’s Day.
Crawley will celebrate Ireland’s national day throughout the weekend.The Parade starts at 1pm prompt from Crawley Bus Station and takes a route down Haslett Avenue West then right into the one way system onto Station Road past Crawley Train Station. The parade travels past the south-side of the Mall and turns left onto Southgate Avenue/College Road. The parade turns at the Crawley College roundabout onto the Boulevard. The parade then takes a left onto The Broadway where pedestrians will enter Queens Square.
Live music and entertainment will follow the parade at Queens Square. The Crawley Saint Patrick’s Festivities are a celebration cultural heritage taking place in Crawley, West Sussex, and focuses on the fourth annual Crawley Saint Patrick’s Parade. Crawley will celebrate its Irish heritage and the diversity of the town throughout the weekend.
2015 Leeds Saint Patricks Day Parade
Sunday 15th March 2015 at 12.30pm
Parade at the Millennium Square.
2015 Manchester Irish St Patricks Day Parade
Parade Sunday 15 March 2015
The Festival runs Friday 6th March – Thursday 19th March 2015
2015 Manchester Irish Festival set to maintain its crown as Europe’s biggest Irish Festival. This years’ 2015 Manchester Irish Festival is expected to attract over 200,000 people to its two week, 17 day celebration.
2015 Newcastle England St. Patrick’s Day
2015 St Patricks Weekend
March 14, 2015 – March 17, 2015
2015 Huddersfield England St Patricks Day Parade
Sunday March 8th, 2015
The Huddersfield Irish Centre organises the St Patricks Day Parade. It is run on a completely voluntary basis and relies solely on the goodwill and committment of the committee and individuals for its organisation. Funding is secured from Grants, Donations, Sponsorship, Merchandise and Fundraising Events.
For more information and more parades, visit the official St Patricks Day website
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