Follow Us on Twitter

St Patrick's Day in London

Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MARCH 17 is St Patrick’s Day and the capital celebrates on Sunday, March 12, 2006, with the St Patrick’s Day Festival. And it all begins at 12 noon when the St Patrick’s Day Parade sets off from Park Lane.

Made up of marching bands from Britain, Ireland and Europe, colourful costumes, community groups, Irish dancing schools, pageantry and floats with Irish music, costumes and characters, the parade will pass Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

And this year, watch out for a special piece of street theatre by Irish Street Theatre Company Macteo, called Circus Bizarre, which was a highlight at last year’s Dublin parade.

Between 12 noon and 6pm, there will be live, musical performances in Trafalgar Square. Guests will include Hothouse Flowers, acclaimed traditional band Altan, award-winning singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes, rising stars The Chalets, Tara Blaise, and Brian Kennedy who’ll be representing Ireland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Also on the Square will be one of the largest Irish travel exhibitions ever held in Britain.

Covent Garden will host an Irish food fair and market on Saturday, 11 and Sunday, 12 March. Here too, an accoustic stage will feature Irish folk groups.

While in Leicester Square, you will be able to take part in an outdoor Ceili Mor, with the best of ceili music and traditional Irish dancing. A special exhibition by the Crafts Council of Ireland will tempt you with contemporary and unusual gifts; while children will delight in the Celtic Kids Zone Nipperbout.

For more information call 020 7983 4100 or visit the website.