It’s that time of year again folks. Paddy Day. Lá le Phadraig. St Patricks Day. (Never St. Pattys Day/Pattys Day. Just NO.) The people of Ireland go out in the freezing cold, scoffing down contraband chocolate (it’s a bible sanctioned day off Lent, don’t you know?), probable rain, to line the streets of villages, towns and cities to watch children and adults dressed up as patriotic things like octopuses, fire trucks and dragons. Theres even the odd mention of St Patrick and Christianity, which is supposed to be the focus of the day. The day tends to end with people having a single beverage and quietly making their way home after. Or something.
There are a lot of different events on each year for St Patricks Day around the country; entire festivals formed around our National Holiday. In Cork alone, theres loads to take a look at. These are some of the things that stood out for me as potential bits to pop along to – let me know if I’m missing out on any absolute gems in the comments below!
My highlights list goes as follows…
This one is kind of obvious – the main event, as it were. But which to go to?
The Cork City parade, which kicks off at 1pm from South Mall, making its way loudly and proudly through the city, finishing at the bus station, has a theme of Cultural Concepts. It looks to be fantastic, with crowd pleasers Bui Bolg, Spraoi, Dowtcha Puppets and Cork Community Art Link all coming together with a host of other community groups for what promises to be a fantastic parade, rain or shine. I know exactly where I’ll be viewing it from this year after finding the best viewing spot ever last year! They’re even streaming it live on corkcity.ie/tv for anyone unable to attend but not wanting to miss out.
In nearby Ballincollig, the parade organisers are trying to set a record which may be of interest to anyone with Frozen-mad children – they’re looking to have the most Elsa’s in one place. Here’s a great use for those Elsa dresses which may be lying in the playbox, or any blue dress and plaiting skill you may have – and its not just for the kids! For anyone with boys who want to join in the fun but don’t want to be an Elsa, they’re also looking for boys to dress up as their favourite hero, so fun for all. They’re assembling at the Supervalu Carpark at 2.30pm on the 17th. For more information, call 0860551911.
In West Cork, the Skibereen parade also kicks off at 2.30pm from the playground. With the theme of “The Wild Atlantic Way”, organisers are encouraging community groups, schools and businesses to take part and even have a prize set aside for the best little leprechaun.
Seachtain na Gaeilge
The Central Library in Cork City Centre has a programme of events laid out for Seachtain na Gaeilge to celebrate and share a love and learning of the Irish language. Some highlights are as follows:
11th March – 7.00pm: Seachtain na Gaeilge: Na h-Amhráin a fhoghlaimíomar ar Scoil – Irish songs we learned at school”. With John Spillane and the Ré Rá Singers
18th March – 7.00p.m.: Seachtain na Gaeilge: An dán ó m’óige is ansa liom – My favourite childhood poem. With Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, formerly of RTÉ. This event is also on in Douglas Library the following day at 11am for those who can’t make the evening slot.
For the weekend of the 14th/15th, Patrick St in Cork city will be taken over by street performers and music acts performing for and entertaining the general public. On the 17th this moves to Grand Parade. For information on the acts involved, check out www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie
Patrick’s Hill Ball Run
On Sun 15th at 2pm, 10,000 multi-coloured balls will be thrown down Patricks Hill – think THAT Sony Ad, but with Cork Coffee Roasters in hand. It’s being organised by the fantastic people at the Cork Lions Club as a fundraiser for them, who support lots of local causes, to make matters better again. You can join the fun and buy balls on line at www.corklionsclub.ie.
Blackrock Castle and Observatory
Joining Cork’s St Patrick’s Festival from Saturday March 14 to Tuesday March 17, Blackrock Castle and Observatory is hosting a number of as gaeilge events to join in the fun. They’re hosting planetarium shows, heritage tours of Blackrock Castle and a Telescope Clinic workshop in the Irish and English language. For more info click here.
If you know of anything else I’ve missed but should be interested in, leave a comment below! Would love to hear from you 🙂
Enjoy your St Patricks Day festivities, however you spend it!