It’s one of the biggest days in the calendar and a day for Irish people at home and abroad to celebrate our culture, identity and heritage.
But St Patrick’s Day is so much more than that.
We give you the rundown on the ‘Top 5 Things to do in the West of Ireland this St Patrick’s weekend’.
1. Sunrise and Pipe Bands (17th March)
Achill Island is famous for its pipe bands and its sunrise tradition. The pipe bands begin to play at sunrise on Achill and will march and perform until sunset.
This schedule allows visitors and spectators to join the bands for a while and then to explore Achill’s other attractions – for the active visitor these include watersports, golf or hillwalking, while for the more relaxed visitor there are always the restaurants and bars to enjoy.
Celebrate Ireland’s national day in traditional style, and follow Achill’s pipe bands on their annual parades.
2018 Schedule: Reveille at 06.00am, marches from 09.00am, Dookinella meet at 13.00pm, then return to villages. >> AchillTourism.com
2. Galway’s St Patrick’s Day Parade (17th March)
2018 marks the 116th anniversary of the Galway St. Patrick’s Day Parade and you can expect a wonderful spectacle of all things Irish with this Year’s Guest of Honour being Galway native and extreme adventurer Gavan Hennigan. The iconic fountain in Eyre Square will even turn green as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. The Parade will start at 11.30am and finish at approximately 1.00pm.
The parade will feature an array of community, cultural, sporting and international groups including Ireland’s pioneering spectacle theatre company Macnas, led by the Macnas Young Ensemble. Recognised worldwide for its quality and innovation, Macnas will be accompanied by a fantastical, flowery giant Macnas owl alongside a cacophony of rhythm passion and purpose from the next generation Macnas drummers.. >> galwaytourism.ie/event/St-Patricks-Festival
3. May The Road Rise To Meet You (17th March)
St. Patrick’s Day, with a difference in South Sligo as athletes will once again take to the roads for the Tubbercurry St. Patrick’s Day 10K Road Race.
The first ever Tubbercurry 10K road race was planned for St. Stephen’s Day but was postponed due to snow and ice. It was rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day 1973 and ever since it has become an annual fixture in the running calendar. Last year saw 375 runners take to the streets of Tubbercurry. >> facebook.com/SouthSligoAthletic/
4. Go Native in Donegal (17th March)
Since 2005, the people of Burtonport, Co Donegal, and surrounding areas have hosted a celebration of Irish culture on St Patrick’s day.
A formal warning has been issued to all Leprechauns in the area to please stay away from the Burtonport Old Railway Walk in the coming days.
Word has it that a Leprechaun catcher is at work at the minute and has already caught a dozen leprechauns which he has restricted to a cage in a bid to limit their mischief over the run-up St Patrick’s day.
Organisers encourage a ‘Bring and Share’ event where everyone brings along food to share on the day. Experience home baking, the Irish language, traditional dance, music, food, games and a warm welcome. >> More on their Facebook Page here
5. Join Ireland’s friendliest place for the Ennis St Patrick’s Day parade
In excess of 10,000 people lined the streets of the Clare County Capital during last year’s parade, which featured 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare.
The theme for this year’s Parade is ‘Ennis – Ireland’s Friendliest Place’, which the Local Authority says provides participating groups, organisations, bands, schools and members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the recently awarded status. >> facebook.com/ennisparade