The festival kicks off with a ‘yeehaw’ with a performance by the Hardin Simmons Cowboy Band from West Texas
Beginning on Tuesday, March 15, this year’s St Patrick’s Festival will run for six days until Sunday, March 20 with a packed programme of activities and entertainment for all the family.
The St Patrick’s Day Parade will be at the centre of the action on March 17 lead by Grand Marshal, local Paralympian Mary Fitzgerald.
The festival will also feature American marching bands, fireshows, afireworks display over Kilkenny Castle, street food market, acrobats, children’s entertainment, live music on the festival bandstand, a big wheel, music workshops, street food and more.
On Tuesday the festival kicks off with a ‘yeehaw’ with a performance by the Hardin Simmons Cowboy Band from West Texas.
On Wednesday, March 16, the biggest-ever gathering of American marching bands in Kilkenny will see the Marching Illini from the University of Illinois perform alongside the the Awesome Original Second Time Arounders from St Petersburg, Florida.
St Patrick’s Day will have all the things you’d expect with a parade through Kilkenny’s medieval city (1.30pm), live-music and street entertainment.
There’ll also be the festival bandstand, festival street food, Nore Valley Mobile Farm, progolf putting with the Horizon Irish Open, Bog Oak Irish Cottage, acrobats, and lots more.
A feature of the day will be ‘Firestorm’ — a dance and fire show by Rogu outside Butler Gallery at 8.30pm (tickets are €3 and all proceeds will go to the St Vincent De Paul).
The festival bandstand, street food, carnival rides, mobile farm, and street entertainment will continue across the weekend. On Friday night fireworks will light up the sky over the iconic Kilkenny Castle, raising funds for the St Vincent De Paul in the process. On Saturday last year’s highlight Kíla in concert will be shown on the big screen on Parliament Street, and on Sunday a traditional ceilí will take place in the River Court Hotel.
For those staying at home but looking to make the best of the double bank holiday. Kilkenny is an easy day trip from anywhere in the Southeast and with lots of free entertainment throughout the weekend it’s easy to bring the whole family.
For those on staycations in Kilkenny, evening entertainment includes the Medieval Mile Museum Series, featuring some of Ireland’s top trad musicians with all proceeds going to Amber Women’s Refuge, The Watergate Theatre and Cleere’s bar have a host of gigs to choose from as well as the Tradfest Trail in pubs across the city as part of Kilkenny Tradfest.
“Kilkenny City will be buzzing next week with the six-day St Patrick’s festival, Kilkenny Tradfest and the Medieval Mile Museum series.
“We’re reopening in style and celebration! There really is something for everyone with the music gigs, free children’s entertainment, the St Patrick’s Day Parade and so much more,” said Cllr Joe Malone, Chairperson of the festival committee.
Speaking ahead of the festival, event manager Marian Flannery said: “ This will be a celebration of us coming back together again. Kilkenny’s festivals are fantastic and it’s great to see them growing year on year.
“We’re delighted to host American Marching Bands and to be able to support important local causes through the Fireworks, Fire Show and Medieval Mile Museum Music series.
“The Festival Bandstand will be back showing off great local talent too. I’m really looking forward to having our in-person parade back again and getting a birds eye view of the city from the Big Wheel.”
More information about St Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny and this year’s programme can be found at stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com or on Facebook at @StPatricksDayKilkenny.
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