February 23, 2024
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‘We’re itching to get back’ – St Patrick’s Festival returns to streets of Kilkenny with ‘bumper programme’

St Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny is returning to our streets next month.

After last year’s ‘virtual festival’, Kilkenny County Council has confirmed the real deal will return this year with a six-day programme of events.

These will include the St Patrick’s Day Parade; performances by American marching bands; street entertainment including acrobats, children’s shows and stilt walkers; carnival rides; Rogu fire show; fireworks display; street food vendors; drum workshops and live music.

A council spokesperson said: “Kilkenny’s medieval city will come alive with pageantry, craic agus ceol for this extended celebration of St. Patrick’s Day centred around the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Beginning on the Tuesday with the Hardin Simmons Cowboy Band from West Texas and taking in the double bank holiday weekend, this year’s festival extends to 6 days, making it the biggest St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny yet!”

The St Patrick’s Day Parade remains the central event and will take place on Thursday, March 17 at 1.30pm in Kilkenny city centre.

The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Run with the Wolves’ based around the famous Kilkenny Animation Studio Cartoon Saloon’s latest Oscar nominated movie, Wolfwalkers. The movie, set in Kilkenny in 1650, takes inspiration from famous local landmarks and forests. And communities are invited to help bring the story to life as they take inspiration from their surroundings and join together to run with the Wolf, the main feature of the Parade.

Chairperson of the St. Patrick’s Festival Committee, Cllr Joe Malone, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the crowds back to Kilkenny for the St. Patrick’s Festival this year. Kilkenny has made a name for itself as a festival city and the St. Patrick’s Festival has grown a lot in the last few years. Last year it went virtual with participants from all over the world featuring in the seven hours of content. This year we’re excited to welcome everyone in person to enjoy everything Kilkenny has to offer.”

Festival Director Marian Flannery added: “We’re itching to get back to the streets and to be able to bring events to people in person. We’ve a bumper programme this year with our biggest festival yet. We’re delighted to welcome marching bands from across the States, who will be performing at special performances in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle in the days before and after St. Patrick’s Day. The Parade Plaza will be a hub of activity with the Mayors Walk Street Feast, carnival rides, and street performers. Kilkenny has a great tradition of music which we’re delighted to be able to showcase through our performance stage on Canal Square. There really will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

Kilkenny Tradfest, organised by Kilkenny City Vintners and supported by Bulmers and Kilkenny County Council, will take place alongside St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny showcasing local and national talent.

*For more information about St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny and this year’s programme, visit: http://www.stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com 

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