Date: 28 Feb 2022
Belfast’s St Patrick’s Day event will make a welcome return, with an extended celebration from 10-20 March.
Belfast’s popular St Patrick’s Day event will make a welcome return this year – but this time, with a reimagined 11-day citywide celebration from 10-20 March.
Belfast City Council awarded creative development funding to four organisations to deliver a new-look celebration that is fun and welcoming, and offers a creative line-up of family activity, including a live concert on 16 March, a St Patrick’s Day carnival pageant, a trad music trail and a community showcase event.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl said: “After two years of not being able to host our usual St Patrick’s Day event, I am really thrilled that it is back this year, bigger and better than ever. It’s great to have the input of community organisations too to help make this a city-wide celebration that will appeal to a wide range of people, young and old, from all corners of our city, with plenty of free activities happening day and night across the 11 days.
“As a UNESCO City of Music, music will play a major role this year with a Féile Trad Trail running from 10 March and a St Patrick’s Eve concert at Custom House Square. The concert promises to be a real family-friendly affair this year featuring authentic homegrown talent. And, on St Patrick’s Day itself, I’m excited to be leading Beat Carnival’s pageant parade and am really looking forward to seeing the city come alive with colour and performances.”
A free family-friendly concert will take place on Wednesday 16 March at Custom House Square, 5pm-9pm, delivered by The Duncairn Centre, supported by the Arts Council NI.
The concert will feature some of the Island’s brightest voices with music from beloved duo Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill, rising-star Tolü Makay and experimental folk artist Joshua Burnside. There will also be special performances from trailblazing flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan and The Duncairn Creative Collective, which brings together over 20 independent Irish musicians from different backgrounds and genres.
Barry O’Kane from The Duncairn Centre said: “We have been champions of independent Irish music since opening in 2014, so to give these artists a platform in Belfast’s city centre is a dream come true. We look forward to representing the authentic, modern and diverse society we live in, while providing an inclusive and family-friendly atmosphere where all shades of Irishness, and none, are welcome.”
This year’s new look St Patrick’s Day parade by Beat Carnival will be a colourful, carnival pageant of costume, music, dance, circus and theatrical performance.
David Boyd, Director of Beat Carnival, said: “We want to involve and inspire people of all backgrounds and abilities, to entertain and captivate audiences and to promote an inclusive and forward-looking experience of St Patrick’s Day in Belfast. The new parade will be a spectacle of creativity, fun and challenge proclaiming that ‘we are all Patrick’.”
Feile an Phobail will also be delivering a series of events as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day programme of activity.
Kevin Gamble, Director at Féile an Phobail, said: “We'll be bringing an array of music sessions, gigs, illuminations, workshops and more over 10 days across the city. Some of the highlights include a Féile Trad Trail - which will see popular bars, restaurants, hotels and visitor spots throughout the Gaeltacht Quarter and city centre come alive with traditional Irish music – plus St Patrick’s Day music at the Spar Craic 10k and inside 2 Royal Avenue.”
The climax to this year's St Patrick's programme will be a community showcase event at 2 Royal Avenue on Sunday 20 March, 1pm-6pm.
Celebrate Our City will bring together output from residents across the city who have been working with MayWe during February and into March on community projects to explore the city's cultural heritage and promote inclusivity.
The free event will feature cross-cultural music, dance, art, storytelling and workshops, as well as the chance to view the work of programme participants, which includes a fusion of traditional music and dance, a digital archive of recorded stories and a photographic exhibition inspired by their diverse experiences.
St George’s Market will also be getting in on the craic, with traditional music performances at the market each day from 18-20 March.
Tickets for the St Patrick’s Eve concert are free and will be available via www.visitbelfast.com from 10am on Thursday 3 March (limited to 4 per person). Terms and conditions apply.
For more information go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/stpatricks