Ireland’s City of Culture to host largest ever St Patrick’s Festival

Publish Date: Tuesday 4th March 2014

More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s Limerick City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest ever to be hosted in Ireland’s National City of Culture.

Details were announced today (Tuesday) of the Parade and an expanded St. Patrick’s Festival programme which includes the 44th Limerick International Band Championship and the ‘Paddy's Day Unlocked’ City of Culture event in The Milk Market. A number of local landmark buildings such as King John’s Castle and Limerick City Hall are also being illuminated in green light to mark Ireland’s national holiday.

Once again, the centrepiece of the Bank Holiday Weekend festivities will be the annual parade with close on 70,000 spectators expected to line the streets of Limerick City Centre to watch thousands of parade participants, floats, community groups and bands provide a riot of colour, noise and entertainment.

Internationally renowned festival favourites including highly acclaimed street theatre group Macnas, Buí Bolg Productions and Centre Stage Theatre School have been included in this year’s parade line-up. While the Grand Marshal will be announced in the coming days, organisers have confirmed that this year’s Flag Ambassadors are the students of Coláiste Chiaráin in Croom who will carry Ireland’s largest tricolour.

Mayor of Limerick Cllr. Kathleen Leddin noted that the scale of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival is fitting considering the City is celebrating being Ireland’s inaugural National City of Culture in 2014.

Mayor Leddin continued: “The Parade attracts a growing number and variety of participants each year and this year’s event is no exception. I look forward to greeting the many thousands of people from across Limerick and further afield during the Parade, which I know will showcase the vibrant and diverse culture that exists here. I want to pay tribute to the huge amount of work, time and resources that have been invested by the St. Patrick’s Festival organisers and sponsors in preparing a comprehensive programme of events.”

Highlights of the St Patrick’s Festival 2014 include:


  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Street entertainment and Limerick’s arts and community groups showcasing their talents with brightly coloured floats and entries in the city’s main thoroughfare of O’Connell Street on Monday, March 17th at 12 noon. As in previous years, prizes will be awarded to parade participants in a number of categories, namely Best Float, Most Entertaining Group, Most Eco-Friendly Group and Best Musical Performance.
  • 44th International Band Championship: 21 bands from all over Ireland, USA and Europe will compete to be crowned Overall Parade Champion on Sunday, 16th March 2014 at 12 noon. The Band Championship will start in Pery Square and end in Arthur’s Quay with a free concert for the public in Arthur’s Quay Park.
  • The Greening of Limerick: A number of Limerick’s most prominent buildings are set to go green especially for the occasion. They include King John’s Castle, Limerick City Hall, The Clarion Hotel, Barrington's Hospital, Bellisimo Hair salon, ICON Bar and nightclub, Texas Steakout, The George Hotel and the Taikichi Sushi Bar.
  • Paddy’s Day Unlocked: A City of Culture event curated and MC’d by Owen and Moley O’Suilleabháin, with musical performances, a screening, dance, theatrical performances and spoken word at The Milk Market on Monday 17th March, 3pm – 7pm. Food stalls showcasing artisan Irish food producers will sell food throughout the event. Admission
  • St. Patrick’s Weekend of Racing: A festival of National Hunt Horse racing with 7 National Hunt race to enjoy at Greenmount Park from 2.30pm on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March. Adult admission €15 / student and Senior €10, Children FREE.
  • St. Patrick’s Day 2014 at the Hunt Museum: The Hunt Museum will be celebrating all things Irish with free themed events, crafts and music on Monday 17th March 2013 from 2.00pm-5.00pm. Free admission to everyone wearing green.
  • Ceol Luimnigh: Limerick G.A.A, in association with the Castleconnell/ Ahane/ Herbertstown branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, present 'Ceol Luimnigh', an evening of ceol, damhsa agus amhránaíoch den scoth at the L.I.T. Concert Hall in Moylish on Friday 14th March at 8pm.
  • Genealogy Day 2014: Members of the public will be offered free, one-on-one consultations with a genealogist at Christchurch Buildings, 51A O’Connell St., on Saturday 15th March. Stands include Limerick Museum & Archives, Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society, Presbyterian & Methodist Registers, St Mary’s Cathedral archives (CoI), Religious Society of Friends, Limerick International Brigades Memorial Trust, Irish Georgian Society, Royal Munster Fusiliers Association, Eneclann and the Association of Professional Genealogy in Ireland.
  • St. Patrick’s Weekend Markets: Milk Market (Fri 14th, Sat 15th, Sun 16th and Mon 17th) and Cruises Street Market (Sat 15th). Fantastic food, crafts and family fun at the Milk Market and Cruises Street Market over the St. Patrick’s Weekend.
  • Fuerza Bruta at the Culture Factory, Castletroy 13th – 22nd March.

The Limerick St. Patrick's Festival 2014 is run on behalf of Limerick City and County Council by Futureama Productions. It is generously sponsored by Stryker, Fáilte Ireland, Analog Devices and Limerick's Live 95FM.

More details on the 2014 Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival, including the International Band Championship, can be found on

Last update:04/03/2014