Belfast Telegraph

What's on in Northern Ireland on St Patrick's Day?

By Jackie Bell

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

From parades to concerts to re-enactments there are plenty of things to keep all the family entertained across Northern Ireland.

Belfast

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.

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.

Elsewhere, a sea of green and celebrations await at St George's Market from Friday until Sunday. Irish dancers will be performing on Saturday from 10am-noon.

Londonderry

Derry will welcome the spring with open arms in a cacophony of colour and spectacle with a St Patrick's Day Spring 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 car park at 3.30pm.

There is also the LegenDerry food festival which is a free family event that is held over two days on Saturday and Sunday 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.

Armagh and Down

The Home of St Patrick Festival runs until March 19.

Encompassing events across counties 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.

The parade departs from Palace Demesne at 1.30pm and snakes its way through the city centre before finishing at the grounds of Cathedral Road Recreation Centre.

Newry

In Newry the parade this year is themed 'Myths and Legends' and will provide a fantastic colourful display of floats, bands, vehicle, community organisations and more. The parade route follows the Albert Basin, Buttercrane Quay, Merchant Quay, Sugar Island, Kildare Street and The Mall.

It starts at noon and ends at 2pm. The cross-community parade promises to be the highlight of their St Patrick's Festival celebrations in Newry.

Cultra

Celebrate St Patrick's Day at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum 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. Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes to join in and learn traditional set dancing to live music.

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 and 2pm.

Broughshane

Thousands of people will once again be celebrating St Patrick's Day by climbing the slopes of historic Slemish mountain.

Raceview Mill and Broughshane and District Community Association will provide the hub of the event. The trek kicks off at 9am until 3.30pm. A shuttle bus service will run continually from 9am to 3.30pm from Michelin, Raceview Mill and Brougshane to Slemish. The last coaches return from Slemish at 4pm.

Enniskillen

The St Patrick's Day Parade and Fun Day returns to the county town of Enniskillen for its eighth 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.

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

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

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