Festival Parade

Festival Parade

The Pageants

Have a look below at the pageant companies that featured in the 2017 Parade.


Buí Bolg - Ireland You Are ... A Tapestry

A play on the image of the Tapestry with the landscape being stitched together by a giant Tailor working with coloured yarns spun from the wool of a flock of multicoloured sheep.

Spreading out in every direction a tapestry of fields, forests and bogs tells the story of our relationship with the land. Our imprint on this island is a kaleidoscope patchwork, of hedges, crops, pastures and infrastructure, shaped by its people and our roots lie buried within its fertile tracts.

Buí Bolg Outdoor Arts is a team of skilled visual artists and engineers, performers and designers led by Artistic Director Colm Lowney. The company develops street art work and creates fantastic puppetry, floats and visual effects.  Bui Bolg’s in-house youth group led by Kris Maguire provides the innovative young acrobats and circus performers.

In partnership with Irish Ferries


Artastic - Ireland ... Together We Are An Ocean

This story is about three aspects of our Ireland's story, the recognition of journey, our strength in unity, and celebrating our diversity, all with a bit of craic! It looks at some of the qualities it takes to be part of the Irish story, from our earliest known inhabitants through to our current day story, and most stories include a journey across the ocean. Whether people were leaving and or new inhabitants have come to our shore, they crossed the ocean on their journey.

Artastic is a street spectacle company based in Kildare, under the artistic direction of Vijaya Bateson and Caitriona McGowan. Their track record in conceiving new works and engaging a range of community groups is a testament to their passion for contemporary street theatre.

In partnership with Fáilte Ireland

Brighter Futures - Ireland You Are ... Grace O'Malley Our Pirate Queen

Brighter Futures 2017 pageant is about a strong famous Irish leader, Grace O’Malley (Granuaile).

Grace was born into a powerful seafaring family from the West of Ireland. She lived her life being both a mother and an extraordinary pirate leader, who constantly broke the mould.

The pageant starts and finishes with two poetic images: Grainne the brave powerful seafaring pirate and Grainne the intelligent, strong, peace keeping Queen & mother of our nation.

Between these two presentations of Grainne the pirate queen, the teenagers of Brighter Futures are all dressed in a variety of pirate’s outfits, a lively, quirky, mix match of costumes. They proudly carry a flag, evoking the idea of identity, rebellion, and being together.

Brighter Futures is St. Patrick's Festival's Youth Community Art's Project.

City Fusion - Ireland We Are An Island

A celebration of the vivid Irish imagination and the lively tapestry of our culture, both past and present.

Inspired by the poem My Ireland, penned by Stephen James Smith for St. Patrick's Festival, this pageant will convey the multiplicity of our people, our characteristic traits, our personalities moulded by historical events. This pageant will show a variety of characters all living in the same society capturing the notion that we are an island.

City Fusion is St. Patrick's Festival's Adult Community Art's Project.


Inishowen Carnival Group - Ireland You Are ... The Ancient Ones

This pageant represents the essence of wild, beautiful, untamed Ireland, that seeps into our consciousness through the landscape we inhabit and the DNA of our ancestors. The design aims to create a primordial dreamscape of ancient spirits which are woven into the fabric of our rugged island nation, a nation of forests, lakes and bogland, a nation of tribes. Even in modern Ireland our personal, community and national identities continue to be shaped by our ancient mystical landscape.

Inishowen Carnival Group are celebrating 25 years of carnival activity and have been taking part in the Dublin Parade for 21 of those years. Creating pageants and installations for a variety of local and national events, the company is based near Malin Head on the beautiful Inishowen peninsula on the northern coast of Donegal.

Dowtcha Puppets - Ireland You Are ... Food For Thought

Food For Thought celebrates Ireland's success, innovation and leadership in food politics.

The pageant is broken into three sections, each outlining a different advancement, including the ‘Slow Food’ movement, ‘Grow It Yourself’ and the ‘Food Cloud’. Seen together these sections show a complete food cycle from the earth to our plate.

Dowtcha's trademark colour and humour will be showcased by their biggest assembly of puppets to date, while a team of puppeteers will bring the characters to life.  Performers from the Showstoppers Stage School will interact with the audience and with Dowtcha’s giant puppets, through choreographed dance routines.

Set up in 2002 by Cliff Dolliver and Mick Lynch, Dowtcha are Cork’s puppet and street theatre specialists.  They develop and present original, high-quality puppet shows, visual theatre and workshops.

Dublin Institute of Technology - Ireland You Are ... Reflections

All 20,000 students in DIT were asked to submit artwork and elements that they think reflect the 2017 theme of “Ireland You Are”. The collection will be placed throughout the pageant and move through the street of Dublin. Whilst the students have been asked to reflect on the theme, DIT will be inviting the crowd to reflect through interaction with the spectacle. Reflections can mean thoughts, texts and of course light.

Students from the Dublin School of Creative Arts in Grangegorman, The Conservatory of Music and Drama in Rathmines as well as their colleagues from throughout the Dublin Institute of Technology have been involved in the creation and performance of their pageant piece. The project is led by Barry Sheehan, Head of Design, Dublin School of Creative Arts, DIT.


Spraoi - Ireland You Are ... Full of Old Stories

This year Spraoi will take a look at the wealth of stories and folklore that inhabit our little corner of Europe. From salmon to swans and great heroes to devious antiheroes it’s all there. Some tales are full of wildness and passion, some tales full of beauty and elegance.  All these great icons and images have lasted in our collective memories. Join Spraoi as we bring images, icons, passion and wildness back and onto the streets of Dublin in 2017.

This Waterford based company has become a familiar presence in the Dublin Parade with 2017 parade marking their 21st appearance!   Founded in 1993, the company is regularly commissioned by festivals and events to produce large street spectacle shows. The company also produce the now famous annual Spraoi Festival, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

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