Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival celebrations will burst into life with a weekend of family fun activities, two parades and a feast of action at the heart of the Bank Holiday weekend.
Tens of thousands of spectators will be thrilled by the 2023 version of the Limerick St. Patrick’s Day parade, with over 1500 people set to march their way down O’Connell Street before finishing on Henry Street this Friday, 17 March from 12 noon.
The Discover Limerick theme will be to the fore of this year’s parade, with Viking warriors reminding us all of who discovered Limerick first.
Spectators attending the parade can look forward to old favourites, Buí Bolg who this year are collaborating with Limerick Youth Festival to help celebrate their 50th anniversary.
Lumen Street Theatre return along with Limerick Youth Dance Company, Cloughjordan Circus Club, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance with stilt-walkers, musicians, and of course all your favourite clubs, bands and groups adding to the colour on the day.
Starting on O’Connell Avenue/Roden Street junction, the route for the parade will turn left onto Glentworth Street this year, before making a right turn onto Henry Street, as the parade continues its way to Rutland Street.
The weekend festivities will continue on Saturday 18 March with an afternoon of comedy, high-energy acrobatics, mind-boggling manoeuvres and jaw dropping antics at St. Patrick’s Festival Street Show Saturday. Street performers Wobbly Circus, Hakuna Matata Acrobats, Fanzini Brothers, Stephen McGinley’s crazy circus, and magician Jack Wise will wow the crowds with performances on Thomas Street and Bedford Row from 12 noon to 3pm.
As always, Limerick has the edge on other cities as it hosts the country’s only International Band Championship, now celebrating its 51st edition.
A total of 20 bands will be taking part in the championship with hundreds of musicians travelling from America and Europe as well as local and other Irish bands.
The sight of all these marching bands along the route will be something to behold on Sunday 19 March from 12 noon.
Starting from Hartstonge Street, participants will march down O’Connell Street, turn left onto Glentworth Street, before turning right onto Henry Street. The parade route will end at Arthur’s Quay Park, where there will be a free concert ahead of the announcement of the winners.
The Limerick International Band Championship has a new award on offer this year, with the “best pipe band” category up for grabs.
The activities don’t stop there as GAA fans can head to the Gaelic Grounds for a double header of GAA action. All-Ireland hurling champions Limerick host Wexford in the NHL at 1.45pm, following by the NFL meeting between Limerick and Kildare at 3.45pm.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Frances Foley said, “the programme of events this year is once again is a one stop shop for those looking to Discover Limerick this St Patrick’s Festival weekend. With two parades, Limerick people are in a unique position that they can have double the fun over everyone else. Our national holiday weekend is a time for a celebration of all that is good about Ireland and no matter what people decide to do this March in Limerick, they are sure to have a fantastic time as they discover all that Limerick has to offer. All the while sampling our city and county’s warm embrace.”
Eileen Coleman Senior Executive Officer, Tourism department, Limerick City and County Council said, “in Limerick City and County Council, we are very excited about St. Patrick’s Festival this year. Our communities have embraced the theme, Discover Limerick and we are really looking forward to their expression of what Limerick means to them.”
“Unique to Limerick, the International Band Championship, taking place on Sunday 19 March will showcase international marching bands but also allows us to show our appreciation for our own local bands. Limerick has a rich tradition of bands and the work they do within their community, as well as performing, is so important for the city and county. Limerick will be the place to be this St Patrick’s Festival Weekend”.
Among the other family-friendly events taking place for Limerick St Patrick’s Festival include:
- Limerick St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Friday March 17 at 12noon
- Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival Street Show Saturday – Bedford Row and Thomas Street
- 51st Limerick International Band Championship – Sunday March 19 at 12noon
- St. Patrick’s Unlocked at Limerick Milk Market – 12 – 20 March
- St. Patrick’s Weekend at the Hunt Museum – 17 – 19 March
- Limerick History Tour and Leprechaun Hunt at the People’s Museum – 17 March
- St. Patrick’s Tide at St. Mary’s Cathedral – 12 – 19 March
The action is not just confined to the city. Once again the County of Limerick will turn green with ten county parades confirmed for 2023.
From Adare, to Castleconnell to Mountcollins, March 17 in Limerick will have something for everyone.
Source: Limerick City & County Council