St Patrick’s Day does not go by unnoticed or unrecognised in the city of London, not only is there an annual parade which draws in the crowds, Trafalgar Square is also home to a fabulous free festival to mark the occasion. Plus you will find that there are plenty of other events taking place right across the city to mark the day. London, as with many other cities around the world is home to a large Irish population, and when it comes to parties, well St Patrick’s Day offers a chance to show the world just how well the city can party. The parade is a sight to see; complete with marching bands as well as fabulously decorated floats it is a riot of sound and colour. There are many performers in the parade including dancers, acrobats and street theatre performers so it really does offer something for everyone. Each of the thirty two individual counties of Ireland will be represented, each showing their traditional colours and county wares. The parade would not be complete without a contingent of London’s Irish community, as well as that of the rest of the people who live here.
The Parade and Festival
The St Patrick’s Day Parade will leave Piccadilly (by Green Park) at 12 midday on the 17th March and make its way towards Whitehall. This year the parade will be accompanied by the giant Puca; designed by Keith Payne this huge inflatable dragon looks set to attract a lot of attention on the day.
Over in Trafalgar Square the fun starts at noon and runs on through to 6pm. This festival aims to encompass all that is good and great about Irish Culture and will showcase things like traditional Irish Dancing as well as contemporary Irish Dance.
As part of the London Irish Comedy Festival there will be a comedy tent which will no doubt prove popular. Irish film makers will be showing their work in the film tent and of course there will be the usual food market where you will be able to sample and buy the very best in home grown and homemade produce fresh from the Emerald Isle.
Across the City
Many of the pubs, bars and clubs across the city will be hosting their own celebration in honour of the Irish patron saint, so be prepared to see the city turn green with decorations, as well as green drinks too. Traditional drinks from Ireland will be flowing as will the good will that the holiday generates. Check out some of the city restaurants too as many of them offer a special menu with an Irish theme just for the occasion. St Patrick’s Day is traditionally a day of feasting and merriment, and Irish or not, Londoner or visitor, you just can’t help but get caught up in the spirit of the celebrations. Before you know it, you could be out there with the rest of the revellers, painting the town red… or should that be green?