St Patrick Leads the Return of Celebrations in Downpatrick and Newry
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is delighted that after a two-year period the St Patrick’s Day Parades will take place again this year in Downpatrick and Newry.
Saint Patrick will be the centre of all the celebrations in both parades taking place on Thursday 17 March 2022. The parades will offer an eclectic mix of entertainment for residents and visitors to enjoy from swirling dancers, a cavalcade of community floats to costumed characters - there will be plenty to entertain the crowd.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said, “The Council is proud that we are renowned for being the home of St Patrick. I am very pleased to see the return of the St Patrick’s Day festival and Cross-Community Parades, which allow us to celebrate the best in home grown talent. The parades in Newry and Downpatrick have grown in stature and spectacle over the years and the line-up this year will offer visitors and residents an entertaining day out to enjoy with family and friends.”
In Downpatrick, the celebrations will commence at 12noon. Residents are asked to come along to St Patrick’s Square to enjoy an array of free activities including face painting, walkabout characters, arts and crafts, balloon modelling and live performances. Performing on stage will be the multi-platinum recording artist Brian Kennedy, folk rock legends, The Logues and Weston Loney plus many more.
This year will see the introduction of the Family Festival Village at Knocknashinna Park. From 12noon there will be the very best in homegrown talent performing live music, circus skills, pop-up acts as well as many children’s activities to keep folks of all ages entertained.
The Downpatrick Parade will depart from the Ardglass Road at 1.30pm and will continue onto Edward Street, John Street, Irish Street, Market Street and finish at Rathkeltair Car Park. It will bring together a procession of vintage cars along with a host of floats, sports groups and community groups, compered by local radio personality, Glen Pavis from Downtown Radio.
In addition to the events on 17 March, there will also be a two-day Saint Patrick & Early Christian Ireland Conference in the Saint Patrick Centre on 18 and 19 March, featuring nine leading academics from Ireland, Scotland and Britain. Also, on 18 March, The Saint Patrick Centre will host a fantastic evening of traditional Irish talent accompanied by a three course meal.
In Newry, Hill Street will be the place to be on St Patrick’s Day. From 12noon there will be a wide range of fun activities for the whole family in Marcus Square and Margaret Square. In addition to Downpatrick, Brian Kennedy and the Logues will also be headlining the main stage in Newry, supported by The Blues Katz and many more. There will be pop up stages at Sugar Island and St Colman’s park with the best in local street entertainment and from 10am-2.30pm, Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle will host free children’s arts and crafts workshops. Numbers are limited to 10 children so pre-booking of places is advisable by contacting the Museum. More family fun on the day can be found at Newry’s new Family Festival Village at the city’s McClelland Park from 12noon, where there will be a wide range of activities to be enjoyed.
The parade will provide the main event of the St Patrick’s celebrations in Newry. Compered by Downtown Radio’s Gary Myles, it sets off from The Albert Basin at 1pm and follows the route along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island to Kildare Street. As if that is not enough, the movable food and drink ‘Street Feast’ in Newry Market takes place on Friday 18 March, celebrating our farmers, chefs, foragers, distilleries and artisans. This free event will have street style food on offer along with retail products from the producers.
Or if you feel like getting out and about, then check out the range of St Patrick's themed experiences from walking through ancient landscapes with local historian, Duane Fitzsimons on the ‘Patrick and The Pagan Hills Experience’ to taking to the waters on a paddleboard at one of the St Patrick's Day ‘Big Paddy Paddles’ at the Visit Mourne Outdoor Fest.
For full programme details please visit https://www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/whats-on/st-patricks-festival or check out our socials Facebook @VisitMourne, Twitter @VisitMourne and Instagram @VisitMourne.