St Patrick’s Day Celebrations Announced for Downpatrick and Newry
Join us in Newry and Downpatrick on Friday 17 March for a multitude of activities and festivities for all the family, including our fabulous community parades.
We are delighted to work with our community groups, venues and arts organisations to deliver our St Patrick’s Day 2023 celebrations. Talking about this year’s festival, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “For many, St Patrick’s Day marks the beginning of spring and a return to outdoor festivals after the long winter months. Our St Patrick’s day programme of events is specially designed to bring everyone outdoors to enjoy this homegrown cultural celebration of historical and religious events, musical performances, family fun and cross-community carnivals, which pay homage to the life, work and teachings of St Patrick. This will be a terrific day out for everyone and I hope to see you all there.”
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 unique String Ninjas, popular tribute act, The Illegals and the fantastic nine piece soul band, The Gold Tips plus many more.
The Family Festival Village at Knocknashinna Park will be in full swing from 12noon too, where 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.
Make sure you find the perfect spot along the parade route, which 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, compéred by local broadcaster, Gerry Kelly.
Why not also catch a ride on the `Shamrock Express` to the breathtaking Inch Abbey from the Downpatrick and County Down Railway. Step back in time to experience traditions of days gone by with live traditional music and dance, butter and bread making, storytelling plus much more all taking place on board.
Down County Museum and Down Arts Centre also have special St Patrick’s Day events planned throughout the day starting at 11am, which includes free arts and crafts workshops, live music and dance. For those wanting an in-depth insight into the life and works of our patron saint, The Saint Patrick’s Centre will be relaunching their St Patrick’s exhibition starting Monday 13 March.
In Newry, Hill Street will once again be a hive of entertainment 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 and music lovers will be treated to live performances from pop duo, Paper Tides, country music star, Johnny Brady, international celtic rock band, More Power to your Elbow and a guest appearance from Newry’s very own Junior Eurovision contestant, Sophie Lennon. Sugar Island will also be a hive of activity, showcasing the best in local street entertainment.
Of course, the main event of the St Patrick’s celebrations in Newry will the parade, full of colourful floats, costumes, dance and music. Don’t miss it as it leaves Albert Basin at 1pm compéred by broadcaster and TV personality, Julian Simmons. As in previous years, the route follows along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island to Kildare Street.
Don’t forget to book crafty time with the children in Newry and Mourne Museum in Bagenal’s Castle, where free craft workshops will take place throughout the day from 12pm-4pm. Numbers are limited so pre-booking of places is advisable by contacting the Museum. More family fun on the day can be found at Newry’s Family Festival Village at the city’s McClelland Park from 12noon, where there will be a wide range of activities to be enjoyed.
For full programme details please visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/whats-on/st-patricks-festival or check out our socials Facebook @VisitMourne, Twitter @VisitMourne and Instagram @VisitMourne.