Dublin, Ireland's capital city, celebrates St. Patrick's Day between March 16 and 20. The festival features fireworks, music, food, street theatre, dance, carnivals, treasure hunts, films and a parade through Dublin's city centre.
National Lottery Skyfest displays fireworks, lasers and giant mythical creatures on the Liffey River. The best place to view the fireworks and hear the music is at Docklands on the north and south quays. Pre-show entertainment begins at 6:30 pm and fireworks start at 7:30 pm.
Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade
The St. Patrick's Festival Parade, on March 17, starts at Parnell Square North at 12 noon, reaches O'Connell Bridge at 12:45 pm and Christchurch at 1:30 pm. Large inflatables, colourful costumes and performers depict a Legendary theme with spirits of Cuchulainn, Setanta, the Salmon of Knowledge and Grainne Mhaol, the Irish pirate queen. Myths and legends from Poland, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Wales also participate in the world's biggest and best St. Patrick's Day parade.
The free Denny Treasure Hunt begins and ends at City Hall, and runs from 10 am to 5 pm. Participants can register in advance or between 10 am and 1 pm. A Pirate's Den theme transforms Dublin streets into an interactive treasure map, with pirates, ships and swashbucklers. Watch out for the plank. The first person who crosses the finish line wins the pirate booty.
Tastefest Food Festival
You'll find the multi-cultural food festival, Tastefest, in RDS Main Hall. You can buy sample-size dishes from Japan, Malaysia, India, Turkey, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, France and Ireland with Tastefest Tokens. Live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and drink tasting are part of the Tastefest Food Festival.
La 'le Gaeilge, an Irish language event at Temple Bar, features films, concerts, theatre and cultural tours in Ireland's native tongue. Events, which begin at 10 am, are suitable for both accomplished novices and Gaeilgeoiri.
At IrishJobs.ie Céilí Mór, you can dance to music by the Kilfenora Céilí Band at Earlsfort Terrace, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Barabbas presents 40 Songs of Green at the National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace. The musical concert comedy, which features five clowns, begins at 8 pm.
Christ Church Cathedral Choir's St. Patrick's Festival concert includes traditional Irish folk songs with harp music, Leos Janacek's Otce nas and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms.
St. Patrick's Day Concerts
Thomas Johnston conducts a tin whistle workshop for children. Sharon Shannon entertains kids with an accordion concert along with dancer Colin Dunne at The Ark on 11 A Eustace Street.
St. Patrick's Festival Comedy Circus stars Irish comedians, Dave McSavage, Kevin Gildea, Pat McDonnell (Father Ted and Naked Camera), Anne Gildea (the Nualas), John Colleary and Declan Rooney.
Clowns, acrobats, a giant whale, racing ostriches and tap-dancing turkeys perform at Denny Big Day Out BBQ on Merrion Square.
Free street theatre
Festival Funfair, at Merrion Square, has kiddie rides and a Jubilee Wheel, for 150-foot-high views of Dublin. The carnival is open during the St. Patrick's Festival dates.
Located in IFSC in Docklands, on George's Dock, is Amozozo. Kids enjoy the illuminated inflatable maze with tunnels, slopes and 60 triangular shaped domes.
City Side Up, St. Patrick's Festival's street theatre program, takes place on South King Street, Henry Street and Mary Street. Free performances, throughout Dublin, green the city's shops, streets and parks.