Dundalk Ready for St. Patrick’s Day Festival

The countdown for St. Patrick’s Day has started and the streets of Dundalk will soon burst into life with the magical performances. This year’s celebration will turn into a four-day festival with a wonderful program of free entertainment for everyone to enjoy.
Local authorities and the parade committee are preparing for a significant influx of people into the town. 15,000 spectators congregated on the streets of Dundalk last year for the St Patrick’s Day parade and the 2013 festival is expected to be even bigger!
A comprehensive Entertainment Guide has been produced to make sure that everyone will find the best entertainment over St. Patrick’s weekend. Sinéad Roche, Dundalk Tourism Officer said:” The Guide highlights the abundance of live music & entertainment on offer over the festival weekend, and the commitment of local businesses to embrace festivals & events in Dundalk”
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, sponsored by Ace Environmental, Longwalk Shopping Centre and National Tile was officially launched on 27th February in the Louth County Museum. The celebration will start with the St. Patrick’s Eve Concert, on Saturday 16th March in Án Tain Theatre in the Town Hall.
The parade, with the theme “Reviving Traditions,” led by the Grand Marshal Oliver Callan, will commence at 1p.m. from Patrick St. and will proceed through Clanbrassil St. and Francis St. then to Park Street and Dublin St., where it ends.
 The parade will feature bands and representatives from community groups such; St.Patrick’s Scout Group, Carlingford Pipe Band, Simul Polonia Association, Go Dundalk – Smarter Travel, and many others who will be showcasing their attributes with brightly coloured floats and entries.
The day will not end with the parade alone as a full afternoon of fun and entertainment will be laid on in the Market Square to ensure the carnival atmosphere continued throughout the day.
The line-up will start at 12:30 to the sound of American Bluegrass music, expertly performed by The Down & Out Bluegrass Band. After the parade, the Dundalk Brass Band, a 30-piece local ensemble, will take to the stage. The prize-giving ceremony will be followed by the lively sounds of Paddy Mac and the Long Riders. 

Colette Lanney from Dundalk Bids Office, Stage Manager for St. Patrick’s Parade said: “We are delighted to have a great selection of music to entertain the crowd who will gather at the Market Square before and after the parade. There will be a Carousel and range of Family Amusements on the Market Square. We look forward to meeting everyone on the day and celebrating our Irish traditions and heritage together.”
The St. Patrick’s Day Food & Craft Market on Earl Street will showcase local producers and craft people from the area include; homemade food, knitwear, photography, clay dough, and more.
There is also a “St. Patrick’s Treasure Trial” competition, which will see Lucky Charm Leprechauns hidden in 10 shops along the parade route.  This competition will run from Monday 11th March closing on Sunday 17th St Patrick’s Day entry forms and competition rules can be found on facebook/parade.dundalk.  Forms can also be found at locations around the town as well as in local primary schools.  
For any further information about St. Patrick’s Day Parade please email admin@dundalk.ie or telephone 042 9336343.