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St Patrick's Day 2017 - What's happening across Northern Ireland

By Claire Williamson

Here is your St Patrick's Day 2017 guide to all the musical, theatrical and cultural events to get your feet tapping on March 17.

The Black Box Belfast

PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016
Thousands enjoy the open air concert at Custom House Square.
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 Thousands enjoy the open air concert at Custom House Square. St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.

MARCH 17, 2017  2:00 PM The Green Room - Free

Clay Pigeons

Clay pigeons consists of 4 musicians each with over 10 years in the music industry providing Americana, folk, country and bluegrass music to patrons all over Ireland and beyond. Alongside the instrumentation of banjo, guitar, bass, and drums, the band blend a warm mixture of four part harmonies into their music, creating a perfect listening experience for you to enjoy and sing along to.

Belfast Custom House Square

The city will mark St Patrick's Day with a colourful carnival parade and free concert.

The annual parade which leaves City Hall at noon will arrive at Custom House Square at approximately 12.45pm. Custom House Site opens at 12.15pm.

Concert runs from 12.45pm to 3pm. Entry to the concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis and tickets are not required. Gates will open at 12.15pm. Terms and conditions of entry will apply.

This year's concert line-up includes the headline act which is X Factor runner-up, Fleur East.  Supporting acts will include Reggie 'n' Bollie and Stooshe. There will be drumming talent from the local Belfast Boys' Model. Traditional tunes from band The Rare Aul Stuff.

The Dirty Onion Belfast

Enjoy the craic and music all day long to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Belfast.

The event schedule: four piece trad session running in sessions - 13:00-15:00, 15:00-17:00, 17:00-19:00 and 19:00-21:00. Trad with Realta will be played from 21:00 until late.

Parade goers pose on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Parade goers pose on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
A parade participant poses on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: A man holds up a Gay Pride flag at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: Participants march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: An Irish Wolfhound walks in the St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: Participants march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: Participants march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade as members of the military stand guard on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: Participants march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: Participants march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: New York governor Andrew Cuomo poses for a picture while marching in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, Mayor de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: A police officer and his son march in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: People cheer as the during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray marches in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, Mayor de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
County Cork Pipes and Drum marching band bagpipers go past a billboard on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio marches in the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, Mayor de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A marching band plays on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
The US Navy Marching Band walks on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland police officers walk on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
A parade participant cheers on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo poses on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio waves on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images
Marching bandsare seen on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
The NYPD Emerald Society Marching band is seen on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Parade watchers line up on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Parade watchers line up on 5th Avenue during the 255th New York City St Patrick's Day Parade on March 17, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYTIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 17: A man holds up a Gay Pride flag at the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, one of the largest and oldest in the world on March 17, 2016 in New York City. Now that a ban on openly gay groups has been dropped, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is attending the parade for the first time since he became mayor in 2014. The parade goes up Fifth Avenue ending at East 79th Street and will draw an estimated 2 million spectators along its 35-block stretch. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

St Patrick’s weekend at St George’s Market

St Patrick's Day will be celebrated all weekend with live music, Irish dancing and Shamrock design workshops. You can enjoy an Irish Fry or Belfast bap stuffed with your favourite fillings, and you might even spot a leprechaun or two.

Friday 17 March 11am - 3pm Live traditional Irish music from An Droichead

St Patricks Day at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
St Patricks Day at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

12 noon - 2pm Make and take session - make your own Shamrock designs and take them home with you

Saturday 18 March 10am - 11.30am Live entertainment from Fortwilliam musical society

  11.30am - 3pm Live traditional Irish music from An Droichead

St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016

  1pm - 1.30pm Irish dancing

  12 noon - 2pm Shamrock make and take session

Sunday 19 March 11.30am - 3pm Live traditional Irish music from An Droichead

St Patricks Weekend Spring Carnival
St Patricks Weekend Spring Carnival

  12 noon - 2pm Shamrock make and take session

Age-friendly Belfast Punjana St Patrick's Day Tea Dance

There will be two tea dances at the Ulster Hall.

St Patrick's Weekend Spring Carnival
St Patrick's Weekend Spring Carnival

12 noon - 2pm and 3pm - 5pm.  Both sessions are free to attend. Call the Ulster Hall box office on 02890334455 or visit in person to get your free tickets

St Patrick's Mysterious Adventure

Visit the all-age interactive exhibition and story trail and discover first-hand the adventurous life story of St. Patrick at the Belfast Cathedral. Live actors will re-enact the tale from Patrick’s capture by Irish pirates to his return to serve the people of Ireland that he loved so well. Visit the art and history workshops, interact with the circus performers, join in with Viking battle re-enactments and enjoy live Irish music and dance.

The exhibition can be explored independently or why not wait for one of the timed performances where actors bring the story to life.

Public days: 17-18 March

Opening hours: 12pm - 4pm

Home of St Patrick Festival
Home of St Patrick Festival

All visitors are welcome to come in and explore the St. Patrick trail.

Traditional Irish music and dance in North Down Museum

Make Celtic craft, listen to folk stories from storyteller Willie Drennan and learn more about St Patrick and the time he lived in the resident monk. It promises to be a fun-filled afternoon of history and entertainment.

Admission and parking is free at the North Down Museum.

Downpatrick Home of Saint Patrick Festival 2017

The Home of St Patrick Festival 2017 taking place until March 19 is directly inspired by the life and work of St Patrick and held in the landscape once his home, in Counties Armagh and Down.

This year's festival promises to have something for everyone and will be narrated through walks, talks, bells, drums, processions, music, art and exclusive concerts set in breath-taking locations. Many Irish and international artists will come together for this year’s programme to include world renowned writers such as Elif Shafak and one-time punk royalty, Viv Albertine, and some as far as Australia too arrive to celebrate the life of the Spiritual Father of our island.

Festival highlights:

St Patrick’s Vigil commencing at Church of Ireland Cathedral and ending at Roman Catholic Cathedral, Thursday March 16

Visitors are invited to meet at St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral at 9pm where Archbishop Richard Clarke will lead the congregation in prayer. He will then guide the congregation via torchlight to St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral to be welcomed by Archbishop Eamon Martin. This symbolic expression of the unity of the Churches is a reflection of St. Patrick’s own journey of uniting the Irish people with Christianity.

St Patrick’s Carnival Procession, Friday March 17

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Armagh with a spectacular display of colour, music, dance and entertainment for all to enjoy as the wonderful procession themed around ‘Myths & Legends’ snakes its way through the city centre.

Voice of the Irish Festival Closing Concert at Newry Cathedral, Sunday March 19

The Voice of the Irish concert takes its inspiration from St. Patrick writing in his Confessio that it was literally ‘the voice of the Irish’ calling to him to return and introduce Christianity to Ireland. This inaugural concert with its own inspirational complement of up to 100 young musicians from across Ireland performing a programme of popular songs, movie themes and classics interspersed with readings and performances by some of Ireland’s leading actors and musicians. A unique experience of one of the largest orchestral line-ups ever in a wonderful Cathedral acoustic.

St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival - Londonderry

A feast of great events featuring music, dance, food, folklore and more.

St Patrick’s Day Parades March 17, 14:00- 15:00 - Community, arts and performance groups from across the council area and beyond take to the streets in vibrant celebration.

LegenDerry Food Festival March 17-19, 12:00 - 18:00

The Award Winning Festival is back showcasing the talents of local chefs and producers. Live Cooking Demos, Artisan Foods, Street Theatre, Music, Kids workshops and Activities.

The Ubuntu Global Festival March 18, 12:00 - 16:30

Experience a multi-cultural celebration of Music, Performance, Arts and Craft at the Craft Village, Urban Villages Marquee, Bishop Street and GSCA Communities

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra

A truly traditional St Patrick's Day with this unique festival of music, seasonal foods and crafts.

Come and enjoy the beauty of the Folk Museum at Cultra as you stroll around the grounds at the start of spring. Join in to celebrate St Patrick's Day and be taken back to traditional celebrations from over 100 years ago. 

Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes to join in and learn traditional set dancing to live music.

A visit to the stunning 'Step in Time: A Story of Irish Dance' exhibition in the Folk Galleries has never been more fitting on this day

Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh

Join the Ulster American Folk Park this St Patrick's Day and attend the 'American Wake'.

Countless thousands of people left Ireland in the 18th and 19th Centuries. For many, the hours before departure became known as the 'American or Living Wake'. Watch this dramatic re-enactment complete with music and song.

The performances commence at 12pm and 2pm.

Normal admission rates apply.

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