Source: St Patrick's Festival 2021

St Patrick’s Day in virtual wrapping

St Patrick’s Day in virtual wrapping

This year’s festival can be watched globally through a dedicated TV channel

Green-coloured floats, marching bands, throngs of costumed revellers – these hallmarks of Ireland’s national day celebrations may seem just a memory of a happier past now that the country is under a full pandemic lockdown. But despite the Level 5 restrictions, the 2021 national St. Patrick’s Festival is going ahead full steam online, thanks to the efforts of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and many more. 

Awaken Ireland! 

The theme of the virtual festival running from March 12 - 17, is Dúisigh Éire! Awaken Ireland! – a wake-up call to the Irish people in the motherland and abroad to put the long, dark months behind and embrace the brighter days ahead. Featuring more than 100 events, created by artists, performers, makers and dreamers across Ireland, St. Patrick’s Festival 2021 can be accessed globally through its dedicated TV channel. Audiences can stream the full programme of events in real time, and will also be able to replay their favourite shows on the festival website Player. 

Local colour

Apart from this nationwide initiative, many local councils have put together their own programmes of events to mark the national holiday. In place of a real life St Patrick’s Day parade, Bundoran, Co Donnegal, will play out footage of Bundoran parades from years gone by, starting in 1987 and going right through 2019.  The series of vintage parades will be broadcast on the Facebook page of Discover Bundoran from 3pm on Wednesday, 17 March.

In Limerick, performers from the Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre will enact an aerial spectacle, featuring St. Patrick and the proverbial snakes, set against the backdrop of the green-lit King John’s Castle. The magical show can be watched from 5pm on after registration.

Cork city has opted to ‘Go Green’, lighting up over 40 iconic buildings and public spaces by night, including top international tourism venues Blarney Castle and St Anne’s Shandon, The Shakey Bridge and The Red Abbey. Each evening during the festival from 7-11pm a stunning display of words is being projected on the walls of the R&H Hall Building on Kennedy Quay, featuring the phrase “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” in Irish and “In the shelter of each other, we live” in English.

Share your own parade

Public broadcaster RTÉ has revived its #RTÉVirtualParade in partnership with St Patrick’s Festival, inviting people all over Ireland and around the globe to share their own parade online. Participants can post their videos on 17 March using #RTÉVirtualParade on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for a chance to be showcased on RTÉ and win some incredible prizes.

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