St Patrick's Day doesn't have to be the old salty bacon and boiled cabbage dinner followed by an over 'Oirish', night out in a sweaty over-packed pub! There is a lot going across Ireland with more and more interesting, cultural and fun events popping up each year on the day and beyond.
We've had a look and found a few that might take you off the beaten track and get you into the green spirit. No matter what you do we hope you have a lot of fun getting your green on!
1. The Parades
Yes! There are parades in towns and cities across the nation from the huge floats of Dublin to the Tractors and trailers of Athy's main street, why not head to a parade, support the communities involved and soak up the atmosphere. You never know what you might see and it's a great way to get into the Paddy's day mood.
2. Open Air Cinema
As part of the St Patricks festival Jim Sheridan's film 'In America' will be shown in the grounds of Swords Castle @7.30 on Thurs March 16th. It is the story of an Irish family emigrating to New York in the 80's. This is a lovely chance to see a great directors work in gorgeous surroundings.....and it's free! So grab the blankets and the picnic basket! There is a screening of the briliant 'Sing Street' on the saturday too! See Details and book your free ticket HERE
3. The Boat Race of Rivals
The 69th Annual Colours Boat Race takes place in the heart of Dublin City on Saturday March 18th. This is an annual head to head between the endless rivals UCD and TCD which starts at O'Connell Bridge and ends at St James Gate. The first of 4 races kicks off at 1.30pm and is sure to be exciting. So whether you are #trinners4winners o #ucd4life get down to the Liffey and show your support. See here for further details
4. City at Play: Funfairs
For the young at heart, Custom House Quay and Merrion Square will turn into funfairs for the festival which lets you let loose and shake off the stresses of all them assignments! Jump on the Walzters, chomp on some Candy Floss and try out some thrill-seeking rides right in the middle of Dublin. What more would you want!
5. Truly have the 'Craic' for Comic Relief
Dara O'Briain, Deirdre O'Kane, Tommy Tiernan, Jason Byrne, Panti Bliss, Des Bishop, PJ Gallagher, Ardal O'Hanlon, Abandoman, Al Porter..... need I go on! This superstar list of amazingly funny Irish comedians are giving their time, and best lines, for Comic Relief this Paddy's Day with an epic stand-up Gala in the 3 Arena. There are still some tickets left so if you really want to feel Irish on St Patricks day.... laugh your arse off and have the craic for charity. Tickets available HERE
6. Young Blood: The Beats and Voices of Our Generation
The National Concert Hall's programme has certainly blown the dust off it's covers over the past few years and now works to showcase the diversity of music and artists in Ireland and abroad. This Saturday, March 18th, they have an exciting line-up of contemporary, forwarding thinking artists who are driving forward music, spoken word, poetry and the vision of Irish Arts now and in the future. The evening will include Tallaght rap trio HareSquead, the recently Choice Prize awarded Rusangano Family and the always inspiring Emmet Kirwan amongst many other wonderful contemporaries. If you are looking for the heart of Irish culture today.... look towards the NCH. Full details HERE
7. Head to a real Session
You might think Traditional Irish music is just all diddly-iddle-dee or Daniel O'Donnell but until you've experienced the power of real musics in a real trad session you haven't experienced Ireland! St Patrick's day is like christmas for trad musicians as, with the focus on culture and tradition, sessions are welcomed in pubs in every town across the country. So check with your local, get in early to grab a seat and soak up the talents that our many, many irish trad musicians have to offer. You could even go one step further and check out the talent at the Kilkenny Trad fest, Details HERE
8. Run for St Patrick!
If you still have any energy left from all the shenanigans why not challenge yourself and get a group of friends together to do the St Patrick's day 5KM Run in St Stephens Green. It is free, it is healthy and it is a great way to see this part of the city in another way. There'll be entertainment and a great atmosphere to soak in while you smugly cross the finish line knowing that you've done a good thing! Go on.... Run like the snakes ran away from St Patrick! Even though the poor snakes didn't have legs which was clearly an unfair advantage on Paddy's part! REGISTER for the run HERE
No matter what you do this St Patrick's weekend, make sure you plan your travel, keep in touch with friends when you're out and about and make sure you get home safely. Happy St Patrick's Day!