Council Unveils St Patrick’s Day Plans For Newry And Downpatrick

St Patrick’s Day Plans Outlined for Newry and Downpatrick

On Sunday 17 March, St Patrick’s Day in Newry and Downpatrick promises to be the perfect blend of tradition, culture, and family-friendly activities, ensuring a memorable experience for locals and tourists alike.

Talking about this year’s festival, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte said: “This a significant time for Newry Mourne and Down due to our unique connection to Saint Patrick. 

“Our traditional St Patrick’s Day festivals in Newry and Downpatrick are an opportunity for us to celebrate our heritage. 

“Our colourful, cross-community parades and our host of themed activities are programmed to inspire visitors and foster civic pride.

“Celebrate your day with us in the home of St Patrick and enjoy the fantastic array of entertainment and family friendly activities.”   

There be dragons in the St Patrick’s parades in Newry and Downpatrick.

In Newry, a hive of entertainment from 12noon until 4pm is planned for Margaret Square, Marcus Square, and Hill Street.  A Ceilidh marquee in Margaret Square will be a hot spot for experienced and novice dancers to kick up their heels. 

In the heart of the City, live performance stages in Marcus Square and Hill Street will showcase a diverse range of upbeat performances including traditional Irish tunes and contemporary acts. 

There will also be plenty for the little ones to do such as face painting, crafts and clay modelling.

This year’s parade promises to be a visual feast showcasing the diversity and unity of the community.  Master of ceremonies, Rozlyn Sheridan will lead the procession from The Quays Shopping Centre at 1pm, which will follow the traditional route along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay and Sugar Island, finishing in Kildare Street. 

Rozlyn will also be joined by the famous Beat Carnival as well as community groups, local schools and organisations in a swirling display of colour and high energy performances all to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint.

Perfect for young families, the Festival Family Village will return to McClelland Park with free activities including St Pats crazy golf, a kid’s outdoor disco, puppet shows and much more. 

Newry and Mourne Museum renowned for its excellent family friendly activities, will once again create a festival hub with live traditional music and children’s workshops.  

A day our for a pet dinosaur in the St Patrick’s Day parade on Irish Street in Downpatrick. It love’s children, but couldn’t eat a whole one! (Photo by P Magowan).

Museum sessions are free of charge, but numbers are limited to 10 children, therefore pre-booking of places is advisable.  For those wanting to take the celebrations into the evening, grab your tickets for The Mersey Beatles who are returning to Newry Town Hall to perform the classic, ‘Hard Day’s Night` to mark the 60th anniversary of the fab four. Tickets are available from Eventbrite or from the following link:

Celebrations in Downpatrick will also kick off from 12noon and run until 4pm. Traditional music, workshops, concerts and family activities will create a real carnival atmosphere in the all-new St Patrick’s Festival Village in Saint Patrick’s Square.

Here you will find the Ceilidh Marquee staging traditional live music throughout the day, an Artisan Producers Market, which is part of the Make It Local initiative, and a range of funfair rides, arts and crafts activities and many pop-up music performances to enhance the festival vibe.

Down County Museum and Down Arts Centre will also have a range of specially curated activities for young people throughout the day, and as part of the St Patrick’s weekend celebrations, Down Arts Centre has a host of entertainment offerings, including the legendary Irish singer/songwriter, Andy Irvine and Northern Irish Comedy sensation, Paddy Raff.

Leaving the Downshire Estate at 1.30pm, a cavalcade of floats, sports groups and community groups, compered by local entertainer, Connor Martin, will weave its way along Edward Street, John Street, Irish Street and Market Street before finishing at Rathkeltair car park.

In the evening, a new temporary light installation will be open from 6pm.

Funded by the Department for Communities, this free attraction features a sound and light installation in four various locations around Downpatrick including The Saint Patrick Centre, the Arts Centre, the Cathedral, the Grove. 

The ‘Downpatrick – Trail of Light’, opens each evening between 15– 27 March from 6pm-10pm.

Come join us on Sunday March 17 and celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style. For full programme details, visit: