St Patrick's Skyfest to rock at Cashel
THE centrepiece of the annual St Patrick's Festival -- the Skyfest fireworks display -- is being re-located out of Dublin to the Rock of Cashel.
For the first time since its inception, the Skyfest will this year move from the capital to the stunning backdrop of the Co Tipperary site.
Organisers hope the Rock will provide a headache-free option for organisers. Last year 200,000 spectators were disappointed when bad weather forced the cancellation of the Dublin event.
And while the Church is celebrating the feast of the national saint two days ahead of schedule because of the early arrival of Holy Week, the centrepiece of the festivities, the annual St Patrick's Day parade, will take place as usual down O'Connell Street on March 17.
The identity of this year's Grand Marshal is a closely guarded secret and will not be revealed for another fortnight.
Festival organisers hope any confusion over the dates of the religious and civic celebrations is sorted out.
Donal Shiels, chief executive of the festival, said there was no way they were going to reschedule the parade when the Church first signalled its intentions last year.
"We need two to three years planning for the parade. There's a huge amount of bands coming in from America."