It’s traditionally one of the most popular celebrations in the city’s annual event calendar, and this year Derry City Council and partners have launched an enhanced programme for the three day festival which includes a range of live music, entertainment and family fun right across the city, from Saturday 15th to Monday 17th March 2014.
The LegenDerry St. Patrick’s Day Carnival Parade on the 17th March will feature over 600 local performers as a whole host of fabulous and fearsome creatures celebrate ‘Music, Myth and Magic’ reflecting the city’s 2014 Music City theme. Enjoy the fantastical creations of the carnival parade as the faery folk breathe life into some of the famous figures of Irish myth and legend, including the ferocious and spectacular Púka, who will this year head up the parade.
Leaving from Queen’s Quay Car Park at 2.30pm, catch the parade as it travels over Boating Club Lane towards the Strand Road towards the City Hotel, it moves back along the Queen’s Quay, before returning to Derry City Council Car Park.
Speaking ahead of the celebration, Mayor Councillor Martin Reilly issued a warm welcome to anyone planning a visit to Derry-Londonderry over the three day weekend. “St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival is always one of our most popular family events, and I’m delighted that this year the festivities have been extended to three days, making it ideal for anyone planning a short family break.
“The theme of our Carnival embraces some of the fantastic legends of Irish folklore and our carnival facilitators have been working hard with a range of local community groups to produce a spectacle that will really capture the imagination and wow the crowds. And with the LegenDerry Food Festival, Go Green Campaign and Trad Triangle taking place throughout the city all weekend, you will have to travel far to find a better St Patrick’s experience. I would like to welcome everyone to this year’s event, and a magical celebration of our Irish heritage, hospitality and best loved traditions for people of all ages.”
Beginning on Saturday 15th March, the city centre will be filled with music and this year the addition of the Trad Triangle will celebrate Irish traditional with three city centre outdoor stages located in Waterloo Place, New Market Street and the Craft Village, providing plenty of opportunity to get your toes tapping. Join the Trad Trail to experience some of the best Irish bands around, including some of the impressive young talents featured at last year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.
Karan Leonard, Events Manager at Derry City Council said the programme is bigger than ever and in following in the footsteps of this some of the world’s most iconic sites such as London Eye, Niagara Falls and the Pyramid of Egypt, the city is set to ‘Go Green’ in honour of our patron Saint.
“In a bid to see the biggest spring clean the city has ever seen Derry City Council is engaging in the campaign this St Patricks Day as an opportunity to highlight the importance of recycling. Buildings such as Council offices, the Guildhall Clock face and the Playhouse are set to turn green to show support for this initiative. There will be many ways to get involved in this by looking out for our ‘Go Green’ Recycling bins and to meet the range of ‘Go Green’ characters who will offer ideas on how to save money and energy.”
This year St Patrick’s will be a feast for all the senses, as the city’s top chefs work their magic on some of the finest local produce during the LegenDerry Food Festival which will take place throughout St Patrick’s weekend. ‘From Plot to Plate’ and ‘Grown Here not Flown Here’ are the themes of this family foodie event, which showcases a wide range of local produce, and reveals the real benefits of shopping local. Enjoy live cook offs and demonstrations as our local chefs reveal the tricks of the trade and why Derry is fast becoming one of the most popular food destinations in Ireland.
Combining the Go Green campaign with the Food Festive, make sure you visit the Love Food/Hate Waste stand at the Guildhall for tips on leftover meals and reducing waste on your weekly food bills.
There’s fun for all ages as youngsters are invited to join the pirate trail at the Playhouse (various times) over the weekend as the Pirate King leads them on an exciting musical adventure to find the Legenderry treasure. Teens can call into St Columbs Hall on Sunday evening for a colourful celebration of some of the best young local musical talent as they take to the stage for a special Pub Zero.
Keeping young people heavily involved in this year’s Spring Carnival the Youth Council are encouraging you to ‘Have Your Say’ at a designated feedback zone set up in St Columbs Hall.
Continuing Karan said that the 2014 St Patricks Festival really has something for everyone, and encouraging people to check pick up a programme or check out the full list of events which is now online.
“From children’s activities in the Tower Museum to a golf tournaments and fun running events, live music and entertainment at a whole host of venues across the city throughout the weekend, this will prove a great weekend to come to Derry-Londonderry. Take a wander and see where you end up, there will be plenty of craic agus ceoil to go round.
For more information on all the events including a number of fringe events taking place from Saturday 15th - Monday 17th March go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/stpatricksday or www.whatsonderrylondonderry.com
St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival 2014 is supported by Derry City Council, Visit Derry and Ilex Regeneration Company.