St Patrick hits Dublin with futuristic floats and snakes ahead of packed festival
Futuristic floats and the return of the snakes are some of the antics in store for Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day parade.
Up to 500,000 spectators are expected to line the streets of the capital tomorrow, with celebrations continuing until Sunday.
This year’s parade theme, “Imagine If”, features creative interpretations of what Ireland may be like in 100 years’ time.
One float is set in the not-so-distant future when citizens are living to the ripe old age of 130 and Ireland is playing host to the so-called Galaxy Games.
Although legend has it that St Patrick expelled snakes from Ireland, one float sees some super-serpents descend on the capital. However, St Patrick arrives in time to save the people of Dublin.
Before the excitement begins, the patron saint was welcomed to the city yesterday by Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh.
He was joined at the Mansion House by members of the Clondalkin and Artane Bands, who will provide the rhythm to this year’s parade along with bands from the US, UK and Brittany.
“We’re grateful to St Patrick for his timely arrival and that he is here with us to celebrate this important milestone year,” said Susan Kirby, the chief executive of the St Patrick’s Festival.
“We’re very excited about delivering four days and nights of fantastic events that will turn Dublin into a theatre of live entertainment.”
The parade, led by Grand Marshal Joanne O’Riordan, starts at noon on Parnell Square. Historic buildings – including the GPO, the Four Courts and Trinity College – will be bathed in green light as darkness falls.
Other events during the week include:
- On Saturday, revellers can channel their inner adventurer in the Festival Treasure Hunt at City Hall, with a special mini-hunt organised for children;
- On Sunday, Merrion Square will host the free Big Day Out, a day-long carnival bursting with theatrics, magic and music;
- Anyone with any energy left can take part in the St Patrick’s Festival 5km Road Race on the same day;
- The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival returns to Howth and the RDS plays host to the Irish Craft Beer and Whiskey Village all weekend.