St Patrick’s Day may be our national holiday, a day in which we celebrate what it is to be Irish, but in Bray one day of celebration is simply not enough. For 2023 the Wicklow town will have a five-day St Patrick’s Day festival running from Thursday, March 16 to Monday, March 20.
Over the course of five days locals and visitors can enjoy the Bird’s Euroshow Funfair, live music, an open-air céilí, talks, a walk, a treasure hunt, movies by the Bandstand, and, of course, the parade itself.
Beginning at 2 p.m. there will be road closures in place from 1-3 p.m. to facilitate the parade route. The roads affected include Main Street, Florence Road, Eglinton Road, Quinsboro Road, Seymour Road, Seapoint Road, Strand Road and surrounding junctions.
This year’s Grand Marshall is Bray’s ‘Person of the Year’ Dr David Menzies. A founding member of Bray Cardiac First responders and a founding member and volunteer with Wicklow Rapid Response, Dr Menzies is also a founder, former chair, board Member and medical Director of Community First Responders Ireland.
Iconic landmarks such as the Town Hall, Civic Offices and The Bandstand will go green as the parade, featuring 1,500 participants, starts from the Town Hall and moves to the viewing stand at the northern part of the Seafront. Again this year, organisers have teamed up with the Bray Autism Friendly Town Team and there will be a quiet zone at the Parade at the junction of Quinsborough Road and Seymour Road.
There will be more than 30 events and activities over the five days with a number of free events for the family to enjoy. The Bird’s Euroshow Funfair returns to Bray Seafront and opens on Thursday, March 16 at 3 p.m. then daily from 12 noon to 10 p.m. On St Patrick’s evening Neil Delamere returns to The Mermaid with a brand new show, Delamerium, at 8 p.m.
DART and Irish Rail services are set to be running a Sunday service, but some additional trains will be provided to assist getting to and from parades. Those travelling on intercity services are advised to book seats in advance.
Six bus companies pass through Bray: Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland on behalf of Transport for Ireland, Bus Éireann, Finnegan’s Bray, Aircoach, St. Kevin’s Bus Service to Glendalough/
If you are driving by car, Bray lies along the M11 motorway corridor; an interchange at its northern side links with the M50 Dublin bypass. For parking information, visit bray.ie.
With over a thousand people taking part this year’s Bray St Patrick’s Day Parade features floats from many local organisations, including the 11th Wicklow Kilmacanogue Beavers Group, the 12th Wicklow St. Peter’s Bray Scout Group, Ardmore Rovers Football Club, Artastic, and Bray Adventurers.
There will also be floats from Bray Community First Responders, Bray Emmets GAA Club, Bray For Love, Bray Hockey Club, Bray Junior Musicals, Bray Lions Club, Bray Vintage Car Club, Crumlin Marching Band, Enniskerry Youth club AFC, Gerry Martin and Ruby the collie, Lakers Social and Recreation, Lawless Academy of Irish Dancing, Masters Temple Martial Arts Academy, McGrath Flood School of Irish Dancing, Me and The Moon, Shankill GAA, Shauna McGauran School of Irish Dancing, Signal Arts, Southside Chinese Residents Association, Peters Football Club, Studio X Dance Group, The Boomerang Band, The Perfect Stone Company, Twilight Twirlers, and World Cup Blitz.
On Saturday, March 18 the Boomerang Brass Band play live at The Clock Tower in Enniskerry village at 12.45 p.m. Later that day at 2 p.m., a showcase of Irish dancing which including performances from Lawless Academy of Irish Dancing, Dunphy School of Irish Dance, Scoil Rince Fáinne, and Shauna McGauran School of Irish Dancing takes place at the Seafront Bandstand from 2 p.m.
That evening sport takes centre stage as Ireland’s rugby team go for The Grand Slam against England, and you can enjoy the big game on the open-air big screen opposite the bandstand at 5.15 p.m. On Sunday, March 19, the Bray Head walk returns, allowing participants to take in some of the most stunning views of Bray and surrounding areas with a guided walk with Bray Adventures.
March 19 is also Mother’s Day and, to celebrate the occasion, some family favourite films are being screen on the big screen.