NMD Council Unveils Plans For St Patrick’s Day Events

Council Unveils St Patrick’s Day Plans for Downpatrick and Newry

As the countdown to St Patrick’s Day begins, the historic town of Downpatrick and the city of Newry are gearing up for an unforgettable celebration on Sunday 17 March, with events running from 12 noon until 4pm.

The St Patrick’s Day festivities promise to be a perfect blend of tradition, culture, and family-friendly activities, and of course the parades are not to be missed. 

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte, talking about this year’s festival, said: “We are proud to be the home of St Patrick, so where better to celebrate this special day?

“The main festivities will take place in Downpatrick and Newry with their spectacular cross-community parades.

“Both urban centres were hit hard during the recent flooding. Events like these are not only an important way of showcasing the district’s unique culture and heritage, they help to drive footfall into town centres.

“This supports our businesses as they work to re-establish themselves after the floods.

Cllr Valerie Harte, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, pictured outside Down Cathedral. (Photo courtesy of NMDDC.)

“The St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Newry and Downpatrick promise to be a true reflection of the warmth and hospitality of the people of St Patrick’s own country.

“The events are family-friendly and open to visitors of all ages, ensuring a memorable experience for locals and tourists alike.”

Kicking off the celebrations, Downpatrick’s vibrant and lively town centre will host its famous St Patrick’s Day parade, leaving the Downshire Estate at 1.30pm and heading to Rathkeltair carpark. 

“Spectators can expect a dazzling display of flamboyant floats, traditional music, and dance performances, creating an electric atmosphere for all to enjoy.”

Throughout the day, the all-new St Patrick’s village around St Patrick’s Square will be the place to experience traditional Ceilidh dancing, children’s rides, family friendly activities and a fantastic artisan fair. 

And don’t forget to visit Down County Museum for a range of specially curated activities for the children delving into the rich history and folklore surrounding St Patrick.

Another fresh attraction for this year’s festival is the Trail of Light exhibition, which will run from Friday 15 to Sunday 31 March.

This outdoor exhibition will transform familiar spaces with unexpected moments and inspiring art installations. These artworks are all unique so come along and see if you can find them.

Meanwhile, in Newry, the St Patrick’s Day Parade promises to be a visual feast, with community groups, local schools and organisations coming together with the infamous, Beat Carnival, to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.

The floats will leave the Quays Shopping Centre at 1pm, finishing in Kildare Street.  The celebrations will continue in the open Ceilidh marquee in Margerat Square and the heart of the town will be a hive of activity with stages in Marcus Square and Hill Street.

Other great venues for families to check out are McClelland Park and Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle, which will have a full programme of activities planned. 

For those who want to take the celebrations right into the evening, why not book your tickets for the Mersey Beatles, who are back by popular demand in Newry Town Hall, performing their fabulous Hard Day’s Night show:


Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Harte added:” “In addition to the Newry and Downpatrick celebrations, a host of other themed events and activities are happening across the district.

“Many of these events have been designed to inspire visitors and local people to get out into the great outdoors and enjoy all that the Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion has to offer. 

“Whatever you do, I hope that you spend it here in the land that made St Patrick a legend.”

For full programme details, visit:



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