Belfast Telegraph

St Patrick's Day: Thousands taking part in celebrations across Downpatrick, Newry, Armagh, Omagh and Derry

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Thousands of families are going green and heading out across Northern Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Parades are currently underway in Downpatrick, Newry, Armagh, Omagh and Londonderry to celebrate Ireland's patron saint.

Meanwhile in Dublin one of the largest celebrations is due to take place along O'Connell Street.

Brian Boru, an Irish wolfhound named Paddy and Viking Sitric where among the spectacular sights and sounds on the 1.6 mile (2.6km) route from O'Connell Street to St Patrick's Cathedral.

The Dublin parade was one of the largest in the world, where the theme was Let's Make History and the first of a three-year programme. The next two years will look at the present and future.

Across the world, a number of international structures and famous signed up for Tourism Ireland's global greening campaign to celebrate our patron saint.

The Great Wall of China was among 100 landmarks going green to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Belfast city centre was turned 40 shades of green as thousands came out to celebrate a St Patrick's Day with a sci-fi twist.

Festival-goers went back to the future yesterday in Belfast.

A time-travelling St Patrick led the annual carnival parade from the front of the City Hall.

The streets were lined with many colours – but mostly green – as throngs of people watched the parade wind its way down Royal Avenue and finish up at Custom House Square for live entertainment.

Dozens of striking floats – including a DeLorean from the Back To The Future films and a Tardis from Dr Who – were among the main attractions, coinciding with the day's theme: 'St Patrick – To The Future'.

Hundreds of families descended on the city today, with parade leaving City Hall at noon before heading to a Custom House Square for a day of traditional live entertainment, along with something a bit more modern.

Former X-Factor winner Shayne Ward entertained the crowds with some of his hits following performances from Emerald Armada, Sontas, the Tir na n’Og Irish Dancers and the South Asian Dance Academy.

Lord Mayor Máirtín  Ó Muilleoir said the host of entertainment was "a fun, fantastic treat for all the family".

"We took the future as a theme because it is important that we concentrate on that and how life can be better for all of us," he said.

"Belfast has really gotten into its stride being seen across the world as a forward thinking, attractive city with many advantages - particularly its young population.

"We have shown the world that we can put on a show and celebrate with the best of them."

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Further reading

Belfast St Patrick's parade turns city into sea of green

Dissident republicans to join St Patrick's parade in New York: PSNI face hardline hatred in Big Apple

Belfast St Patrick's parade turns city into sea of green

St Patrick's Day: Irish-American mayor of Boston boycotts parade over LGBT exclusion as Guinness and Heineken pull-out 

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