Carnival atmosphere and family fun to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

A host of family entertainment is set to be on offer next weekend to celebrate St Patrick’s Day.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 8:26 am
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 9:30 am

In Derry, the 2019 Spring Carnival celebrations promise to be a vibrant and colourful affair, that will include music, dance, food and culture.

All this will climax with the Spring Carnival Parade on St. Patrick’s Day itself, Sunday, March 17, at 2.00pm when over 600 street performers and dancers will weave their way through the historic city centre.

The theme of the parade will be Tír Na nÓg (The Land of Youth) in celebration of council’s Youth 19 programme - a year dedicated to young people aged 12 – 24 where council will work with young people and partners to promote their voices, needs, priorities and rights.

The programme will also feature the Ubuntu Global festival, a celebration of diversity and inclusion through traditional music, song and dance from around the world.

Ubuntu is supported by the Good Relations Team in Derry City and Strabane District Council which is funded by The Executive Office (TEO) District Council’s Good Relations Programme.

Other highlights include street theatre, Try Your Luck Arts and Crafts in the Guildhall and On Street Trad in The Diamond and Waterloo Place.

Spring Sounds in Guildhall Square will feature live music and dance from 12.00 noon – 5pm while, for the first time, the Forever Young stage inside the Guildhall will host a traditional Irish Céilí.

The music for both stages has been programmed by Greater Shantallow Community Arts in preparation for our city hosting Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire in May.

For those seeking a more relaxed environment, the Peace Garden will feature an enchanting performance of ‘Away with the Fairies’ by the In Your Space Circus troop. Other activities taking place over the weekend are a 5k Road Race in aid of Foyle Hospice, the Apprentice Boy’s St Patrick’s Celebration and themed activities in An Cultúrlann and the Waterside Shared Village. Full details are available at

Down the road in Buncrana, the fun-filled parade begins at the Convent at 3pm, before it will make its way over St. Mary’s Road and through the Main Street. Organisers are calling on everyone to get involved and get out their best fancy dress - adult and children alike. Entry for floats is free and there’ll be cash prizes in all categories. A number of well-loved cartoon characters will be on Buncrana on the day and there will also be great music on the street afterwards.

In Moville meanwhile the parade starts at 2.30pm. All floats and groups welcome for free. The David Craig band will entertain people in the square in the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm and there will also be a bouncy castle.

Assembly point for motorised floats is Glencrow (below the Co-op).

Bands and walking participants are asked to gather at the Corner Bar end of Quay Street.