St Patrick's Day in Belfast to be celebrated with 11-day citywide celebration

St Patrick's Day in Belfast to be celebrated with 11-day citywide celebration

ST PATRICK'S Day festivities are to return to Belfast with 11 days of celebrations across the city beginning on 10 March.

Belfast City Council awarded creative development funding to four organisations to deliver a new-look for the celebrations, which aims to offer a creative line-up of family activities.

Included in the planned events is a live concert on 16 March, a St Patrick's Day carnival pageant, a trad music trail and a community showcase event.

"After two years of not being able to host our usual St Patrick’s Day event, I am really thrilled that it is back this year, bigger and better than ever," said Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Kate Nicholl.

"It’s great to have the input of community organisations too to help make this a city-wide celebration that will appeal to a wide range of people, young and old, from all corners of our city, with plenty of free activities happening day and night across the 11 days.

"As a UNESCO City of Music, music will play a major role this year with a Féile Trad Trail running from 10 March and a St Patrick’s Eve concert at Custom House Square. The concert promises to be a real family-friendly affair this year featuring authentic homegrown talent. And, on St Patrick’s Day itself, I’m excited to be leading Beat Carnival’s pageant parade and am really looking forward to seeing the city come alive with colour and performances."

A free family-friendly concert will take place on Wednesday 16 March at Custom House Square, 5pm-9pm, delivered by The Duncairn Centre, supported by the Arts Council NI.

The concert will feature some of the best of Irish talent, with music from duo Mick Flannery and Susan O'Neill, rising star Tolü Makay and experimental folk artist Joshua Burnside.

There will also be special performances from trailblazing flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan and The Duncairn Creative Collective, which brings together over 20 independent Irish musicians from different backgrounds and genres.

Barry O’Kane from The Duncairn Centre said:

"We have been champions of independent Irish music since opening in 2014, so to give these artists a platform in Belfast’s city centre is a dream come true. We look forward to representing the authentic, modern and diverse society we live in, while providing an inclusive and family-friendly atmosphere where all shades of Irishness, and none, are welcome."

Director of Beat Carnival David Boyd said said the new parade "will be a spectacle of creativity, fun and challenge proclaiming that 'we are all Patrick'."

Féile an Phobail will also be delivering a series of events as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day programme of activity. Director Kevin Gamble, said:

"We'll be bringing an array of music sessions, gigs, illuminations, workshops and more over 10 days across the city. Some of the highlights include a Féile Trad Trail - which will see popular bars, restaurants, hotels and visitor spots throughout the Gaeltacht Quarter and city centre come alive with traditional Irish music – plus St Patrick’s Day music at the Spar Craic 10k and inside 2 Royal Avenue."

The climax of the celebrations will will be a community showcase event at 2 Royal Avenue on Sunday 20 March, between 1pm-6pm.

Celebrate Our City will bring together output from residents across the city who have been working with MayWe during February and into March on community projects to explore the city's cultural heritage and promote inclusivity.

The free event will feature cross-cultural music, dance, art, storytelling and workshops, as well as the chance to view the work of programme participants, which includes a fusion of traditional music and dance, a digital archive of recorded stories and a photographic exhibition inspired by their diverse experiences.

St George’s Market will also be getting in on the craic, with traditional music performances at the market each day from 18-20 March.

Tickets for the St Patrick's Eve concert are free and will be available from from 10am on Thursday 3 March, and full details of events taking place is available from