July 18, 2024
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What a buzz! Your complete guide to St Patrick’s Weekend in Kilkenny

KILKENNY will be buzzing in more ways than one on St Patrick’s Day as the humble bee is adopted as the county emblem for this year’s bank holiday festivities.

The chosen theme, ‘Bring Back the Bees’, aims to highlight how important bees are to our everyday life. The black and amber bee will be honoured this weekend with various talks and displays to educate the community on how vital their role is in pollinating the food that we bring to our table.

St Patrick’s Day festivities kick-off on tomorrow and will run until Monday, with an incredible array of activities to delight all ages. The popular Vintage Funfair returns to the Parade from Thursday until Monday. The celebrations kick off at 2pm tomorrow at the Watergate Theatre with the Spirit of Saginaw Marching Band from Texas who will entertain everyone on their route to Kilkenny Castle.

A wonderful evening of music is promised at St Patrick’s Church at 7:30pm tomorrow when the St Patrick’s Brass and Reed band take to the pulpit. Founded over 135 years ago, they were the first band to play Amhrán na bhFiann at the James Stephens Barracks when it was handed over to the Irish Free State.

On Friday Trad na Scoileanna showcases the musical talent of local students and Céilí na Scoileanna allows 5th Class Primary Students to take part in ceol, craic agus céilí.

On the Parade, Food Markets will offer culinary treats throughout the weekend from 11am-6pm and Buddy Benches will allow little legs to take a well-earned rest.

Festivities on Saturday kick-off US-style with the Mandan High School Marching Band from North Dakota at 10:30am, followed by ‘Bring back the Bees – Hive talk for kids’ at the National Design and Craft Gallery. Celtic Storm Céilí Band will delight spectators at Town Hall at 3pm with a spectacular show of traditional music, song and dance. Theatre-goers will enjoy the ‘Charlie is a clepto’ with the Watergate Theatre 8pm on Saturday. Tickets can be booked on http://stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com/

History enthusiasts can visit James Stephens Barracks Museum Open Day on Sunday between 11am-4pm to learn about Kilkenny’s military past and rich heritage. Pre-parade entertainment takes place in MacDonagh Junction from 11:30am. Get in the spirit by watching talented performances by young local musicians and dancers. The fun continues in the shopping centre following the parade with face-painting, music, a snake-hunt and more.

The Kilkenny City Parade gets underway at 1:30pm at Market Yard and this year Kilkenny native and cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan is being honoured as the 2019 Grand Marshall. After the parade the celebrations will continue with various performers and displays in Castle Park, including The Joshua Tree U2 Tibute Act, Kiddie Vike – Viking Battle and An Gaeltacht Beag where you can practice your cúpla focail.

On Monday, there are Drumming and Seán Nós Singing Workshops in Kilkenny Castle for those who would like to try something new. Also a musical performance and storytelling about the life of Delia Murphy, called ‘Hello Delia’ will take place at 3pm in Kilkenny Castle.

For further details and booking information, log on to: http://stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com/

Parading Around The County! 

Graiguenamanagh: 12 noon

Thomastown: 12 noon

Urlingford: 1:30pm

Goresbridge: 3:30pm

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