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‘Step in’ for some fun at this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival Céilí

St. Patrick’s Festival Céilí calls dancers to St. Stephen’s Green. 13th March 2013: Lace up those dancing shoes and join in the fun at one of the most popular events on the St. Patrick’s Festival programme. The Festival Céilí, taking place at St. Stephen’s Green on Friday 15th March, is free of charge and will see dancing superstar Dearbhla Lennon of Riverdance fame joined by a host of professional dancers and instructors to get you ‘in the groove’ on Festival Friday!

In association with Today FM and Foras na Gaeilge, this year’s Festival Céilí promises to be the best ever with a line-up set to have you dancing in the streets well into Friday evening. Kicking off at 16:30 at St. Stephen’s Green, the Festival Céilí combines great entertainment with a chance for everyone to be part of the Festival’s outdoor celebration of traditional Irish dancing.

The audience will be led through their steps by Céilí Callers from the internationally acclaimed Brookes Academy.  Dancing sensation Sibéal Davitt will set the stage alight with her modern interpretation of sean-nós or ‘old-style’ dance which has been compared to street tap and is highly improvised with the steps subject to change as the music progresses. ‘Sean-nós’ is rarely danced with a pre-recorded track; it is a live solo and the dancer thrives on the tempo and energy of the Irish music.  Céilí-goers will enjoy the music of The Céilí Allstars as they fill the air around St. Stephen’s Green with their traditional Irish sounds.

Speaking about the event, MC Dearbhla Lennon said; “I would encourage everyone, young and old, to come down to St. Stephen’s Green on Friday afternoon and get involved in The Festival Céilí. It’s always an enjoyable event and an ideal way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Festival. The dances are great fun to learn with friends old and new and suitable for all abilities so come join us, you’ll have a ball!”

The Festival Céilí has grown to be one of the most popular events of the annual St. Patrick’s Festival celebrations, says Acting CEO Edelle Moss. “The Festival Céilí offers both locals and visitors alike the chance to truly immerse themselves in Irish culture and to experience the best in traditional Irish music and dance.  Participants in the Festival Céilí have the opportunity to learn about our traditional Irish dances like ‘The Siege of Ennis’ and ‘The Walls of Limerick’ as well as the less well known ‘Shoe the Donkey’ and ‘The Sheaf of Barley’.  The Festival Céilí is a real opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to get involved in our national holiday so I would encourage everyone to come down and be a part of the celebrations.”

Another highlight of this year’s Festival programme is the ‘I Love My City’ cultural series of 16 free events and performances taking place in some of Dublin’s most iconic cultural venues. Established and emerging artists from a variety of disciplines including poetry, dance, visual art, filmmaking, history, literature, music and theatre will feature in what promises to be a truly unique and memorable series of happenings. The programme offers both locals and visitors the chance to sign-up to any of 16 performances by registering on www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

In the year of The Gathering, the St. Patrick’s Festival activities have taken on a distinctly international flavour. For the first year ever the Festival has inviting people from across the world to march in the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade, next March 17th. ‘The People’s Parade’ will see friends and family from abroad cheered on by hundreds of thousands of spectators as they pass by some of Ireland’s most historic landmarks including the GPO, Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Watched internationally by millions more spectators through a variety of mediums, the eyes of the world will be fixed upon Dublin city as we celebrate the best in what it means to be Irish, our people, our culture, our heritage and our history.

The Festival Céilí is free of charge and will take place at St. Stephen’s Green on Friday March 15th from 4.30 -7.30pm. To find out more, visit www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Maria McGrath, Fleishman-Hillard, on 01 6188420/ 0861653055 or maria.mcgrath@fleishmaneurope.com
Kevin Moore, Fleishman-Hillard, on 01 6188499/ 0868252611 or kevin.moore@fleishmaneurope.com

NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
The principal aim of St. Patrick’s Festival, since its inauguration, is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the Irish people would stand proud. It sets out to reflect the talents and achievements of Irish people on many national and world stages, and it acts as an exciting showcase for the manifold skills of the people of Ireland, of every age and social background.

As the one national holiday that is celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, St. Patrick’s Day is the day when everyone wants to be Irish.

Why was it started?
• To offer a national festival that ranks as one of the greatest celebrations in the world
• To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity and grassroots involvement, and marketing activity
• To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations
• To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.

The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. The live audience for the day was estimated to be 430,000.

In 1997, we dropped the word “Day” from our title and it became “St. Patrick’s Festival”, a three day event. The Festival has since grown to become a 4-5 day Festival and in 2001 was enjoyed by 1.2million people.

Preparation for the first St. Patrick’s Festival used to take only 5 months, but with the growth of the Festival, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.

Previously, St. Patrick’s Festival has added €43.7million to the economy annually in spending by tourists with the number rising to a staggering €50.5million when the spend by Dubliners attending was included.