Rebecca and Anabelle Johnson ignore Artastic Pageant’s Rachel Lalley and Piyanuch Chanphet) as they launched St Patrick’s Festival 2017. Picture: Robbie Reynolds

WE’RE less than a month away from one of the nation’s busiest days as plans for the 2017 St Patrick’s Festival are well under way.

This year, organisers say the festival will celebrate ‘Ireland You Are’ across four days and 30 events.

It will bring together 3,000 artists, musicians, dancers, poets and performers and will celebrate who we are, as a culturally diverse and complex society.

St Patrick’s Festival chief exec Susan Kirby said that the festival will “create a snapshot of contemporary Ireland through our programme of creative cultural events”.

The actual parade itself – one of the traditional highlights of celebrations – promises to be a manifestation of “the vision and talents of artists, designers and performers of all ages in response to the festival theme”.

Community groups and pageant companies from across Ireland will present variations of Irish heritage through a variety of performances and street theatre around such subjects as Ireland’s magical fairy stories, ancient mythical tribes, trailblazing pirates and the living landscape.

The March 17 parade will “wind through the heart of Dublin city bursting with colour, whimsical theatrics and lively musical scores from Irish and international bands alike”.

Susan added: “Being Irish today extends beyond these shores through our diaspora and through the new and emerging cultures in our country today.

Treasure Hunt

“We want the 2017 programme to showcase an authentic picture of contemporary Ireland with an inspiring myriad of events that capture this moment in time.”

Other events taking place as part of the celebration include this year’s treasure hunt in the city centre, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth, and the Festival Big Day Out at Merrion Square.

Speaking at the launch of the festival, Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr said that Dublin was “set for four really great days and nights from March 16 to 19”. He emphasised: “I invite people from Dublin and all around the country to engage with the programme – there truly is something for everyone to experience and enjoy.”

The full programme of events for St Patrick’s Festival is available at
www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

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