St Patrick’s Day parades, Land of the Fairies and live music in Derry, Moville, Buncrana

Here’s a list of what is taking place in Derry, Moville and Buncrana next Thursday as St Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations return for the first time in three days.


Traditional Irish Music

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Waterloo Place 1pm - 6pm: Some of the best local traditional Irish musicians are set to play in Waterloo Place alongside traditional Irish dancers, with local food stalls also in place.

David McDonagh who gave the crowd a tune during the annual St. Patrick's Day Spring Carnival in Derry back in 2014. Picture Martin McKeown. 17.03.14

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    Magical Land of the Fairies & Little People

    Peace Garden 1pm - 6pm: Greater Shantallow Community Arts/Studio2 Creative Enterprises will be staging The Magical Land of the Fairies & Little People on Thursday March 17 from 1pm until 6pm in the Peace Garden Foyle Street. The Peace Garden will be transformed into the Colourful Land of the Little People where children can Make a Wish on the Fairy Tree and Dance will the Little People.

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    The family fun day will see 10 choreographed showcase performances whilst themed character performers will engage the public throughout the day.

    Spring Carnival Parade

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    Dancers from St. Cecilia's College leap in the air as they make their way past the Guildhall during the annual Spring Carnival on St. Patrick’s Day in Derry in 2017. Picture Martin McKeown. 17.03.17

    3pm-4pm Departing Bishop Street at 3pm: North West Carnival Initiative presents the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival Parade ‘Rebirth & Renewal. Famed for their fantastical and flamboyant carnival parades, the NWCI has stepped into Spring for this year’s Carnival parade in celebration of ‘Rebirth & Renewal’. Mystical creatures will snake their way through the city’s streets along with a host of characters representing young people from fables and fairy tales from faraway lands. Young people and local communities will have pride of place, and dance moves range from everything from ballet to hip hop. The NWCI works alongside Greater Shantallow Community Arts and In Your Space engaging with over 600 participants from local schools, youth clubs, arts and cultural organisations to create this highlight event of the Spring Carnival day.

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    Parade Route

    The parade will start at 3pm at Bishop Street car park, down towards the Diamond, down Shipquay Street, behind the Guildhall and on to Queen’s Quay roundabout and on to Strand Road past the front of Quayside before finishing at Strand Road carpark. A Quiet Space will be available at The Guildhall 1pm - 5pm and an accessible Viewing Area at the layby on Whittaker Street (across from the Guildhall).Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis, available only between 13.30pm – 4.30pm. Accessible Parking limited spaces are available on Foyle Street Car park and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. - Alternate parking is available in City Centre Car Parks.

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    Seachtain na Gaeilge

    Spectators at the St Patrick’s Day in Moville a few years back. DER1116GS052
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    Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin 11am-7pm: Seachtain na Gaeilge, a global Irish language event celebrating Irish language and culture was launched in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin last week and runs until March 18.

    Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will host a St Patrick’s Day celebration with events and activities for the whole family, including a special menu from Caifé Bácus as well as live music from Acadamh Ceoil Chaoimhin Uí Dhochartaigh.

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    Moville St Patrick’s Day Parade is a particularly special one this year as it marks its 30th anniversary. While the first parade in the town took place in 1990, it had to be cancelled on three occasions - once to the Foot and Mouth outbreak and twice due to Covid 19 - making next Thursday’s parade the 30th. The parade itself will begin at 2.30pm sharp and there is an open call for everyone, from anywhere, to take part. There is no entry fee and there is also no need to pre-book - just show up on the day. Motorised floats should assemble at Glencrow, on the Moville side of the Co-op and those who are walking in the parade should assemble on Quay Street at the Corner Bar. The parade will feature many bands and floats. There will also be music from ‘Sensation’ from 2pm, as well as a Bouncy Castle in the Square. The night before the parade, March 16, there will be a Traditional Music Night in the Trawlerman Bar, beginning at 9pm.

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    Happy spectators at a previous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Buncrana. DER1118GS019

    On Friday, March 18, also in the Trawlerman Bar, the St Patrick’s Day Committee will present prizes for the best floats and window display. Additionally, as a gesture to mark the 30th year, every organisation that participates in the parade will receive a piece of crystal. All previous committee members have also been invited along to commemorate the night.

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    St Patrick’s Day is to return to Buncrana next week. The committee is asking that the community turn out on St Patrick’s Day and support the parade as it returns after Covid 19 restrictions forced its cancellation in 2020 and 2021.The committee has organised traditional music, marching bands, street entertainment. The community will participate in the parade and there will be prizes galore for fancy dress - adults and children- floats, business and community, schools, scouts and clubs, etc. There will be cash prizes in all categories and entry is free. The Buncrana St Patrick’s Day Parade starts 3pm sharp Thursday, March 17.

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    Stilt walkers Audrey Doherty (Brigid), Michael Johnston (St. Patrick) and Sorcha Shanaghan (Suffragette) who featured in a previous St. Patrick's Day parade. DER1118-129KM