Belfast Telegraph

St Patrick's Day 2018: What's happening across Northern Ireland

Here is your St Patrick's Day 2018 guide to all the musical, theatrical and cultural events happening on March 17.

Belfast Custom House Square

Belfast will celebrate St Patrick's Day with a carnival parade and a free concert at Custom House Square.

The parade will leave from Royal Avenue at 11.30am, while the concert will kick off at 1.30pm, featuring local musicians and dancers, along with special guest appearances.

Headlining this year’s concert will be former JLS star Aston Merrygold.

Also performing will be SlideStep, an award-winning modern Irish dancing group , Festival Irish Dancing School Tir Na n-Og and local musicians, Pure Blarney, The Rare Aul Stuff, and JORD and Tanaka.

Access to the concert is free and entry is on a first come first served basis (no ticket required). Gates will open at 1.15pm and under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

St Patrick's Day Spring Carnival Parade - Derry-Londonderry

Derry will welcome the spring with open arms in a cacophony of colour and spectacle with a carnival parade full of dancing daffodils, busy bees and slithering snakes.

This year's parade will leave from the Bishops Street Car Park at 2pm before finishing up at Strand Road Carpark at 3.30pm.

The carnival atmosphere will see pageant pieces from North West Carnival, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, In Your Space and Bluebell Arts and involve over 600 participants from local schools, youth clubs and arts and cultural organisations.

Home of St Patrick Festival - Armagh and Down

The Home of St Patrick Festival runs from March 8-19.

Encompassing events across Armagh and Down, this festival promises an unrivalled mix of regional and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy, showcasing the stunning locations where Saint Patrick walked and worked.

With an eclectic programme of events, you are sure to find something that will get you dancing and singing this Saint Patrick’s season.

For festival highlights, visit

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra

Come and celebrate St Patrick’s Day at the Folk & Transport Museum at Cultra as you are transported back to a traditional celebration from over 100 years ago, as you stroll around the grounds.

There will be a range of activities for visitors to see and take part in, including:

  • tickle the taste buds with some delicious champ
  • listen to live traditional music
  • sample tasty traditional fayre
  • children's craft activities
  • enjoy a chance to see a Saint Patrick’s Day film showing in the Picture House
  • watch traditional craft demonstrators at work

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

Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh

The theme for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be ‘The Emigrants Farewell’ and will commemorate the thousands of Irish people who left Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries in the search of a better life in America.

This dramatic re-enactment will take place at Midday & 2pm.

The stories will be told through music and song and help to convey the bittersweet moments of goodbye between families as their loved boarded the ship to journey to their new life.

LegenDerry Food Festival - Derry-Londonderry

The LegenDerry Food Festival is a free family event, held over two days on the 17th and 18th March as part of the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations.

Running from midday to 6pm, there will be lots of entertainment and music for the younger ones to enjoy.

Celebrity chef Rachel Allen will be headlining this year's event, while MC for the weekend will be television chef and writer Brian McDermott.

St Patrick’s Day at Slemish and Broughshane

On Saturday 17 March, thousands of people will once again be celebrating St Patrick’s Day by climbing the slopes of historic Slemish mountain.

Raceview Mill and Broughshane & District Community Association will provide the hub of the event, with free activities for all the whole family to enjoy, from artisan market with live demos, children's entertainment, small speciality car show and live music.

The trek kicks off at 9am until 3.30pm. A shuttle bus service will run continually from 9am – 3.30pm from Michelin, Raceview Mill and Brougshane to Slemish. The last coaches return from Slemish from 4pm.

St Patrick’s Day Celebrations - Enniskillen

St Patrick’s Day Parade and Fun Day returns to the county town of Enniskillen for its 8th year and headlining the parade this year is a spectacular entry featuring moving inflatables.

The fun starts at the Broadmeadow with a host of live entertainment acts starting at 1pm. There will be the usual range of free activities including bouncy castles, balloon modellers, face painting, zorbs and wandering mascots for all your selfie needs.

On the water, St Patrick himself will be making his amphibious arrival via Castle Island.

The parade starts at 3pm following live music on the Diamond.

St George's Market - Belfast

A sea of green and celebrations await at St George’s Market on St Patrick’s weekend from Friday 16 March – Sunday 18 March.

This jam-packed weekend includes:

  • local live traditional music
  • toe-tapping Irish dancing
  • family fun shamrock design workshops
  • delicious Irish stew and the traditional Irish fry from selected traders
  • special trader offers.

Irish dancers will be performing on Saturday 17 March from 10am – 12 noon.

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