8 Feb, 2019

St. Patrick’s Festival and Tesco Ireland announce Cultural Partnership

Celebration of Irish Culture to become key sponsorship for Tesco Ireland 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. This inclusive cultural programme will celebrate Ireland’s heritage, traditions and music, alongside the very best of Irish food, and runs throughout the five-day celebration of Ireland’s national holiday, March 14th to 18th.

The programme partnership will feature an exciting and diverse range of events, with a very strong family focus and plenty for young and old to enjoy. Many of these events will take place at the new three-day Festival Village in Merrion Square, Dublin, which runs from Saturday March 16th to Monday March 18th for 2019.

On the announcement, Susan Kirby St. Patrick’s Festival CEO commented “We are delighted to announce this exciting partnership with the team at Tesco Ireland, and we look forward to working on an inclusive, celebratory and diverse cultural programme for 2019 and into the future.”

The activity is another example of Tesco’s ongoing commitment to investing in and supporting cultural touchstone events such as Pride, Electric Picnic and the National Ploughing Championships. Key activities will include plenty of family fun as part of the children’s programme. Amongst other activities, Tesco will be working closely with local Irish suppliers to showcase the very best of Irish food and drinks at the Festival Village.

Celebrating the new partnership, Clair O’Donnell, Head of Brand Activations, Tesco Ireland said,  “We’re very honoured to be such a major partner to the world renowned St. Patrick’s Festival. This is something our colleagues are very excited about. As a team we can’t wait to bring our culture of little helps to life across the Festival, supporting a whole host of cultural events and activities for colleagues, customers and families to enjoy”.

St. Patrick’s Festival is the biggest celebration of a national identity and creativity in the world. It is a 3,000 participant (dancers, poets, musicians etc), five day statement of intent of our nationality, our values and culture and a platform to remind people what is unique about Ireland. As well as promoting our heritage, it is a chance to truly reflect on the zeitgeist of Ireland, what inspires us and challenges us today. It has achieved extraordinary growth and success in recent years with 500,000 people attending the parade and an overall benefit to the economy of over €70 million.

The 2019 national St. Patrick’s Festival will celebrate Ireland’s rich heritage of storytelling. Ireland has a deep–rooted tradition of storytelling, reaching back over thousands of years. From spellbinding Irish myths, to defining moments in our history, our heroes and villains through the ages, tall tales and fantastical adventures, our classic and contemporary stories are vibrant and dynamic, life’s rich pageant passed from generation to generation through a myriad of expressions.

Using spoken word, music, visual art, literature, film, theatre, street performance and circus, this year St. Patrick’s Festival will celebrate Ireland’s world–renowned heritage of Storytelling, bringing to life ancient tales and contemporary narratives, the very essence of Ireland and the Irish.

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The full festival programme will be unveiled on 12th February 2019 and will be published at



St. Patrick’s Festival’s principal funders are Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Its aim is to develop a major annual international festival around the national holiday over which the Irish people can stand proud. It reflects the talents and achievements of Irish people on national and world stages, showcasing the skills of every age and social background. The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. Preparation used to take five months, but with its subsequent growth, it now takes 18 months to plan for Ireland’s biggest annual celebration.

Over 105,000 out-of-state visitors attended the Festival in 2016, spending an average of 8.8 days in Ireland, and 6.5 days in Dublin.  During the 2015 Festival, out-of-state visitors generated an estimated total expenditure of €73m while in Ireland, including expenditure of €51.3m while in Dublin, and circa €22m which was spent in the rest of Ireland. (Independent research conducted in 2015 & 2016 by Behaviour and Attitudes on behalf of Fáilte Ireland).

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.


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