This March’s sees the long-awaited return of St Patrick’s Day festivities in Belfast.
This marks the first time in three years that St Patrick’s Day events have taken place in the city, with lockdown restrictions stopping them from taking place in 2020 and 2021.
To make up for lost time, Belfast City Council has promised one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day festivals ever, with 11 days of events taking place from March 10-21.
Read more: St Patrick’s Day 2022: What’s on in Co Tyrone
As we look ahead to St Patrick’s Day itself on Thursday, here’s a look at all the major events taking place this year.
St Patrick’s Day Parade, City Hall, St Patrick’s Day 1pm-2.30pm
It’s hoped crowds will be able to enjoy the parades once more
(Image: © Press Eye – Belfast – Northern)
This year’s new look St Patrick’s Day parade by Beat Carnival, is a colourful, carnival pageant of costume, music, dance, circus and theatrical performance.
Watch as Patrick journeys through the streets of Belfast with giant hound, Spiorad-Spirit (spirit of adventure). He’ll be donning a giant cloak, elegantly patchwork-fashioned from expressions of people and groups throughout Belfast.
All manner of individuals and community organisations in the parade will celebrate their part in the future: varied and different yet strongly united by the instinct for moving forwards together – a cavalcade of carnival dancers, circus artists and musicians reminding us that We are all Patrick, we are all Belfast.
The pageant parade will leave from Belfast City Hall at 1pm and will travel along Donegall Place, into High Street, Bridge Street, Waring Street and finish on Donegall Street close to Writers Square. See parade map below.
Please note some temporary traffic measures along the city centre route will be in place to allow the Pageant Parade to pass safely between 1pm – 2.30pm on March 17.
The Spar Craic 10k, City Hall, 9am
‘Run for the Craic’ in Belfast this St Patrick’s Day and take part in the annual SPAR Craic 10k.
Upwards of 2,000 runners take part in this urban 10k, which leaves City Hall at 9am, passing through the Gaeltacht Quarter before finishing in the EastSide at Ormeau Park.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the popular race in March of 2020, while last year’s race took place as a virtual event, with runners joining in from Manchester to Manhattan. The SPAR Craic 10K has become a must-run in local athletes’ schedules and a fantastic tradition to kick off the celebrations of the day for runners of all levels. Last year’s global race was a huge success, but organisers are thrilled to be able to return to the heart of Belfast for the traditional St Patrick’s Day showpiece, and hope that those who joined the virtual event from their own streets and roads will make it to Belfast this year to feel the camaraderie of the event from City Hall to Ormeau Park.
Féile Trad Trail, Various locations, March 10th-19th
On St Patrick’s Day itself, these include:
- Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich | Brendan Mulholland & Brendan Quinn: 10am – 12pm
- Black Taxi Stand, King Street | The Duffy Family: 12pm – 2pm
- Culturlann | Breandán Mulholland & Brendán Quinn: 12pm – 2pm
- Andersonstown Social Club (PD) | Ciara Maguire, James Carson & Gary Duffy: 2pm – 4pm
- The Park Centre | The Duffy Family: 2pm – 4pm
- Wolf and Whistle | Brendan Mulholland, Ciara Maguire & guest: 2:30pm – 4:30pm
- The Kennedy Centre | The Duffy Family: 4pm – 6pm
- Maddens | Desy Adams, Jim Rainey and Edel Ní Churáin: 4pm – 6pm
St Patrick’s Day Steam Rides, Whitehead Railway Museum, March 19th
Whitehead Railway Museum is delighted to present St Patrick’s Steam Train Rides on Saturday 19 March.
Head down to the picturesque seaside town of Whitehead to experience a short steam train ride. Hauled by a 101 year-old Guinness engine and sitting in a carriage which a certain famous wizard would feel at home in, you will be transported to a bygone era. This is an experience like no other provided on the island of Ireland. While you are on the extensive site, why not have a tour of the museum and a bite to eat in the café. Your day will certainly be one that you won’t forget!
Departs from Whitehead Excursion Station.
Train rides will be running 11am to 3.20pm, every 20 minutes.
Celebrate Our City, 2 Royal Avenue
2 Royal Avenue
Join the action in 2 Royal Avenue to ‘Celebrate Our City’ with a programme of cross-cultural music, dance, art and storytelling.
Take part in free drop-in workshops, enjoy music from around the world and hear stories from our city accompanied by a photographic exhibition created for St Patrick’s Day.
St Patrick’s Eve Concert, Custom House Square
The sounds of a modern island will echo around Custom House Square as The Duncairn Arts Centre presents a family-friendly evening of homegrown entertainment for St Patrick’s Day.
This event will bring together some of Ireland’s most beloved musicians and rising stars for a special outdoor live concert for all the family.
Some of the stage highlights this year will include The Duncairn Creative Collective, a brand new collaborative project that brings together over 20 independent Irish musicians from different backgrounds and genres. Working as a group, they each contribute their own ideas to create unique and original new music in a spirit of collaboration, improvisation and mutual respect.
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 performance from trailblazing flute and whistle player Brian Finnegan. The event will be presented by NI television favourites Lynette Fay & Paddy Raff.
Féile an Earraigh 2022, March 1st-18th
A vibrant and inclusive culture and arts festival, celebrating and showcasing Irish culture, music and diversity.
The programme offers a wide variety of arts and cultural activities including traditional music, workshops, concerts, tours, walks, talks, literary events, youth and sporting events and family based activities.
Féile an Phobail’s Spring festival, Féile an Earraigh, celebrates and showcases local Irish culture and diversity through an eclectic mix of vibrant and inclusive Irish cultural and arts activity for local people and visitors to the city in the lead in to and including St Patrick’s Day.
The 2022 festival will see over 150 events take place in more than 30 venues throughout the City.
St Patrick’s Day, Ulster Folk Museum, March 17th
Kids love the Ulster Folk Museum
Take a trip to the Ulster Folk Museum and enjoy a truly traditional St Patrick’s Day.
Steeped in folklore, marking the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring, St Patrick’s Day is an important date in the calendar. Visit the village of Ballycultra and enjoy traditional Irish dancing, drama, music, folklore tales and more. Get involved in craft stations and sample colcannon and champ cooked over the griddle.
ROAD CLOSURES AND TRAFFIC ADVISORY NOTICE FOR ST PATRICK’S DAY
Belfast City Council have shared details about road closures and possible traffic ahead of St Patrick’s Day, saying:
“On Wednesday 16 March, an evening St Patrick’s Concert will take place at Custom House Square from 5pm-9pm (Site opens 4.30pm). This is a free but ticketed event and all tickets for this event are now fully allocated.
“Extreme caution should be exercised when driving in and around the area of Custom House Square, Queen’s Square and Victoria Street areas due to the large volume of pedestrians attending the free concert.
“Please note there is no designated city centre parking for the St Patricks evening concert.
‘Due to the Challenge Cup Final ‘Belfast Giants v Cardiff Devils’ on 16 March in the SSE Arena, attendees to the evening concert in Custom House Square are advised not to park at the Odyssey, and are encouraged to use other car parks near Custom House Square i.e. the NCP Belfast City Quays Car Park on Donegall Quay.
“Tr affic restrictions and diversions will operate in Belfast City Centre as the annual St Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade Pageant takes place this coming Thursday, 17 March.
“On street parking, including blue badge spaces will be suspended 6am-2.30pm along Upper Arthur Street, Donegall Place, High Street, Bridge Street and Donegall Street to accommodate the parade and spectators.
“Motorists can expect some disruption along the parade route with rolling diversions in place from 12.30pm through to 2.30pm on roads and streets that intersect with the route.
“The carnival pageant will leave Belfast City Hall at 1pm and travel down Donegall Place, turn right into Castle place, then High Street, left into Bridge Street, Waring Street and finishing on Donegall Street close to Writers Square.
“Please note there is no designated city centre parking for the St Patricks carnival parade (17 March).
“For more information on city centre car parks please visit www.belfastcentre.com/city-centre-parking-and-access
“Drivers should also be aware that the SPAR Craic 10K event will see up to 2,500 runners leaving Belfast City Hall at 9am on St Patrick’s Day, Thursday 17 March. The race will take a route through the city centre before crossing the finish line at Ormeau Park. A Traffic Management plan and signage will be in place and motorists should follow directions of Police, any signage and exercise caution along the route. Delays or diversions can be expected. For more information go to www.aisling-events.com
“We encourage attendees to utilise public transport if attending any of these events.
“Translink Metro and Ulsterbus will operate a holiday timetable throughout the day including revised frequencies on some services and NIRailways will operate a Saturday timetable.
“All services are subject to diversions and delays between 12noon-4pm on St Patricks Day. Please leave additional time for your journey and visit www.translink.co.uk or follow @Translink_NI #BelfastStPats for the latest travel updates.”
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