Top places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2014

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations look set to be bigger and bolder than ever before.

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations look set to be bigger and bolder than ever before. Everyone loves a knees-up, and from Dublin to Manchester, there are unmissable parades and parties marking the occasion.

Dublin, Ireland

The Irish capital is one of the best venues to celebrate the country’s patron saint, with the main event this year centred on the thematic St. Patrick’s Festival Parade. The ‘Past, Present and Future’ journey begins its triennial voyage on the streets of Dublin on March 17 and is sure commemorate Ireland’s history in style.

From March 14 there will be all manner of free entertainment such as innovative street performances and vibrant carnivals for all the family to enjoy. On the day itself you can expect delights such as a walking tour- ‘In the Footsteps of St. Patrick’- a not-to-be-missed opportunity for a great cultural lesson on the urban legend.

The tour is running from March 14-17 from Suffolk Street. The Parade commences at 12 noon in the City Centre, starting at Parnell Square.

See the Discover Ireland website for all the details on the event.

Birmingham, England

One of the biggest parades in England, the St. Patrick’s Parade has grown immeasurably since its birth in 1996. The main parade takes place in Digbeth on March 16. The theme for this year is ‘Irish Myths and Legends’ so you can expect leprechauns and dragons galore.

In addition to the Parade, the city’s Custard Factory will be transformed into the ‘Emerald Village,’ complete with showcases of Birmingham’s Irish culture through food, drinks and live music. Bradford Street will also be accommodating for the little ones with children’s rides and inflatables.

To join the thousands-strong parade, marvel at the confetti blast and listen in awe to the countless stories of the Emerald Isle, set off at Camp Hill and enjoy the day’s festivities.

See the Visit Birmingham website.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

The Northern Irish capital are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year with a high energy Carnival Parade, with the theme of St. Patrick as a time-traveller; imagining the future of Belfast. The revelries commence at 12 noon on March 16 in Belfast City Hall with eye-catching floats bearing the futuristic theme and energetic performances from local artists to get the day off to a great start.

Following the Carnival Parade there will be a free concert at 1pm at Custom House Square. The line-up includes 2005 ‘X Factor’ winner Shayne Ward and Irish folk ensemble Emerald Armada.

For more details see the Belfast City Council website.

Manchester, England

Manchester’s annual Irish Parade takes place this weekend. The parade on Sunday March 16 starts at the Irish World Heritage Centre after the Gaelic Mass and will end at Albert Square, marking the beginning of the city’s Irish Festival Market. Take a trip to the Square and immerse yourself in novel enchantments including Irish handcrafts and souvenirs.

Manchester’s Town Hall will be lit green as part of Tourism Ireland’s “Global Greening” initiative to draw attention to the country and to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Manchester’s Irish Festival website has all the information.

So, wherever you are, clear your diary. St. Patrick’s Day 2014: it’ll be a good ’un. 

What do you think? What are celebrations like where you are? Have your say in the comments section below.

Image: Ardfern / Wikimedia Commons