21 Feb, 2019
Create your own precious family stories at this year’s fun packed, five-day St. Patrick’s Festival!
St. Patrick’s Festival returns to the capital this March with a spectacular five-day family programme, celebrating the very best of Irish traditional and contemporary Storytelling , this year’s Festival theme. From Irish mythology and defining historical moments of our past, Ireland’s rich storytelling tradition is world renowned. This year’s theme is interpreted across five days of family focused events, such as the Festival Parade and new for 2019, the three-day Festival Village at Merrion Square to inspire family fun for all ages.
On the theme, Festival CEO, Susan Kirby said “Through storytelling, life’s rich stories are passed from generation to generation. Using spoken word, music, visual art, literature, film, theatre, street performance and circus, this year St. Patrick’s Festival will celebrate our world-renowned connection with Storytelling and bring to life ancient tales and contemporary narratives.”
Dublin’s Merrion Square will be transformed into a bustling Festival Village, running from March 16 to 18, offering three days of fantastic events, fun adventures and glorious food. The jam-packed programme will feature a Gaeltacht, a Céilí Mór, circus and science shows, children’s readings and discos, live music, village hall talks, street theatre, world food stalls and much more. Whether you’re a fully-fledged Gaeilgeoir or a fan of the cúpla focal, the Gaeltacht at Festival Village will offer ceol agus craic for all ages. Discover the enchanting world of science with workshops, explosive shows and enthralling exhibitions in the Science Foundation Ireland Science Zone. Dig for ancient treasure at the Village Big Dig; take on the machines at the Actual Reality Arcade, a life size interactive zone for gamers young and old; explore large scale mathematical exhibits that encourage the wonder of discovery and investigation at the Lifetime Lab; and marvel at extraordinary feats of circus, acrobatics and street theatre with a host Irish and international performers including Pif Paf and Le Bistro. After all the fun, kick back and relax with a smorgasbord of delicious global flavours at the World Food Market, open daily at the Festival Village.
The world famous Festival Parade on Sunday March 17 will start at noon on Parnell Square, Dublin before weaving its way through the city in a bold spectacle of colour, performance and music. Community groups and pageant companies from across Ireland and the world will join together, unearthing Irish legends and whimsical tales through creative performances.
A firm Festival favourite, the Funfair will light up the city with colourful carnival fairground attractions. From waltzers and bumper cars to old time carousels, there’s something for everyone at the City at Play: Funfair. Situated at Custom House Quay, the Funfair begins on Saturday March 16 and runs until Monday March 18, from 11am to 9pm. Dare to be suspended upside down or whisked through the air at amazing speed! Suitable for all the family, enjoy the thrills and spills of the Funfair experience!
St. Patrick’s Festival is delighted to announce a new two-year cultural partnership with Tesco Ireland entitled Ireland’s Finest - A Celebration of Irish Culture. Tesco Ireland will partner on a number of family events across the weekend, with many taking place in the Festival Village, including a huge outdoor Céilí Mór on Saturday March 16 and a fantastic family programme including storytelling, music and puppetry at Granny Whale’s Pirate Tales and the breathtaking acrobatics of Tumble Circus at the Festival Big Top. Kids and grown-ups alike will feast on goodies from the Tesco Firepit and finest* Airstream, serving up delicious food all day long at the Festival Village. On Saturday March 16, sing out loud and take to the streets of Dublin in a choral trail of multi generational choirs! Sing Out Loud – A Choral Trail in the City welcomes voices young and old at iconic locations across the capital. Families can pop along and raise their voices in song!
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, in CHQ on Custom House Quay, has a fascinating programme of events taking place throughout the weekend inspired by the theme of Storytelling. Family events include a crafting and interactive story workshop A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea with award–winning writer Sarah Webb; drop into the slimy science lab and get grubby at the disgusting Slime Labs Workshop with Catherine McGuinness!
Gnás is a series of site-specific performances for young adults, supported by the Arts Council, celebrating the ritualistic nature of the Irish arts, beginning in infancy and childhood, progressing to adolescence and adulthood, and ending in death and the afterlife. Each event will feature a ‘songs from the floor’ session giving the audience a chance to contribute their song or story relevant to the given theme. The line-up includes Gnás: Schooldays Over in the National Print Museum on March 15, with Rab Fulton and sean-nós singer Aodán Ó Ceallaigh exploring songs and stories of early adulthood in the quest for work, leaving home and making one’s way in the world; and in Dublin Writers Museum on March 16, Gnás: Young and Foolish, sees singer and fiddle player Helen Diamond, along with storyteller and poet Frances Quinn explore adolescence, courtship, love lessons learned and the coming of age.
The Words That Bind Us is a project that brings together poets from Ireland and Scotland to collaborate with a new generation of young writers. Students from Trinity Comprehensive School in Ballymun have been working with the renowned poets Stephen James Smith (Ire) and Leyla Josephine (Scot) and weekly guest poets, to create new work through participative workshops that explore the themes of belonging and identity. Leyla Josephine has also been working with a group of young girls to produce Creative Sisters, a female only creative space celebrating the power and potential of young women growing up in Dublin today. Students and poets will present their work at axis Ballymun on March 16, tickets on www.stpatricksfestival.ie. The final The Words That Bind Us event on March 18 is the Dublin UNESCO Poetry Trail, curated by Linda Devlin, celebrating the breadth and diversity of Dublin’s living poets with Felispeaks, Dagogo Hart, Colm Keegan, Ciara Ní É, Stephen James Smith, John Cummins and Scottish poets Leyla Josephine, George Gunn and Janette Ayachi. The Poetry Trail will start in The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane at 1pm.
Please note a number of events are paid ticketed and others are free but tickets are required.
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NOTES TO EDITOR
The National St. Patrick’s Festival from March 14 to 18, 2019 is made possible by the generous support of Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority, as it identifies festivals as a key component to continue to grow tourism through its National Festival Programme, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Dublin City Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Alongside long-term commercial partners Renault and Irish Ferries, this year the Festival also welcomes Tesco Ireland in a two-year Cultural Partnership, and Hennessy as partner on many of the Festival’s musical highlights.
St. Patrick’s Festival events are supported by many partners including The Arts Council, Science Foundation Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Foras na Gaeilge, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 -2030, Conradh na Gaeilge, Guinness Storehouse, Scottish Government, British Council, Embassy of Switzerland in Ireland, Fundación MAPFRE Madrid, Fingal County Council, Dublin Airport, Irish Hotels Federation – Dublin Branch, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, The Irish Times, FM104 and Actavo.