PRESS RELEASES

17 Mar, 2017

AUDIENCES OF UP TO HALF A MILLION ON THE STREET FOR SPECTACULAR ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL PARADE

The streets of the capital were transformed today with colour, fun and dramatic spectacle as the 2017 St. Patrick’s Festival Parade made its way through the heart of Dublin to celebrate our national holiday. Pageant companies and community arts projects from around the country, and marching bands and performers from all over the globe, delighted the cheering crowds who were enchanted by the magical atmosphere and awe inspiring creative presentations. Irish sailor and Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy (27) had the honour of leading the parade as Grand Marshal.

Despite the occasional shower nothing could dampen the spirits of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who lined the streets of the capital today to celebrate all that is great about Ireland and our national holiday at this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.  The parade is part of a four day programme with over 30 different events to be enjoyed. This year’s theme celebrates who we are as a culturally diverse, complex and brave society, not withstanding its challenges, with the theme Ireland You Are…  The Festival is funded by Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs.

Some of the pageants on display included Artastic’s Together We Are An Ocean story that followed three aspects of Ireland’s story; the recognition of journey, our strength in unity, and celebrating our diversity, all with a bit of craic. Dowtcha Puppets’ Food For Thought celebrated Ireland’s success in innovation in food and Brighter Futures’ production focused on the famous Irish pirate queen legend Grace O’Malley (Granuaile).

Over 100,000 overseas visitors travelled to enjoy the Festival. Bands from the Bahamas, France, Ireland, USA, Switzerland and Germany provided the energetic soundscape for the parade. The awards for the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade International Bands today went to:

Overall Best Band:
ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITIES’ BIG RED MARCHING MACHINE, USA

Sectional Award Youth Band:
DEKALB HIGHSCHOOL MARCHING BARBS, ILLINOIS, USA

Sectional Award Adult Band:
FRANKESCHRANZER BUBENDORF, SWITZERLAND

Spirit of the Parade Award St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017:
CLONDALKIN YOUTH BAND, DUBLIN

Speaking about the Festival, CEO of St. Patrick’s Festival, Susan Kirby said; “Every year we continue to be blown away by the calibre of the performances at the parade, and this year is no different. The Festival Parade is a true showcase of the artistic talent we have here in Ireland, talent that is showcased on a global stage today as the parade is streamed live internationally. Many thanks to all of those who came along to enjoy the day and we hope many more will enjoy the full programme of events the Festival has over the coming days.”

Upcoming events to savour over the weekend: 
-Festival Treasure Hunt - 18.03.17, 10am-1pm, City Hall, Explore Ireland’s capital and join hundreds of teams navigating an exciting treasure hunt, visiting Dublin’s beautiful, historical and contemporary locations and solving clues that will challenge the best! 
-The Revolution will not be televised - 18.03.17, 11am-5pm, Smock Alley A series of creative panel discussions and performances by some of Ireland’s most interesting voices, exploring the roles of philosophy, comedy, history, sport, economics, culture, creativity and some of Ireland’s less-obvious revolutionary narratives.
-Young Blood: The Beast and Voices of Our Generation – 18.03.17, 7.30pm, National Concert Hall. Young Blood will amplify the voice of a generation through its smartest, most articulate, expressive young musicians and poets of their time, including Stephen James Smith, Emmet Kirwan, Rusangano Family, Kojey Radical, Katie Laffan. Tickets from €18 available at the door
- Festival Big Day Out - 19.03.17, 12-6pm, Merrion Square comes alive with a vibrant street carnival, bursting with street theatre, music, aerial performances, workshops, crafts, Irish language activities and more including a 50FT giant whale and real-life mermaid!

The full programme of events are available on www.stpatricksfestival.ie
                       
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