Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

District gears up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has announced a wide range of concerts and activities to celebrate this Saint Patrick’s Day, culminating in cross community parades on Sunday 17th March at 1pm in both Newry and Downpatrick.

The Newry parade will set off from the Albert Basin at 1pm along Buttercrane Quay, Merchant’s Quay, Sugar Island and Kildare Street. Free entertainment, music and fun will feature on Hill Street, Marcus Square and Margaret Square, with the Real-time Céili Band, the Casino Dixieland Jazz Band, The Ring of Gullion Comhaltas and The Hand Me Downs. 

Newry and Mourne Museum will also host lively traditional music with complimentary refreshments from 1pm – 3pm.

The final event will be Saint Patrick’s Miscellany, held at Newry Town Hall. This concert will include tributes to Liam O’ Flynn and Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, supported by a symphony orchestra and will showcase a wealth of local talent. Directed by Camlough born international violinist Joanne Quigley McParland, the event starts at 8pm. 

Meanwhile, turning to Downpatrick, on Sunday 10 March at 8pm, the popular Saints and Scholars Concert will take place in Down Cathedral. The concert, which is hosted by All Lives Are Precious (ALPs), features Liam Lawton, Malachi Cush, Karl McGuckin and Matthew Campbell. Tickets are free and are available on a first come, first served basis from Downpatrick Visitor Information Centre, Down Cathedral, Downpatrick and Saint Patrick’s Parish Office, Downpatrick.

The parade will include vintage car cavalcades, floats, community groups and bands, departing from the Ardglass Road at 1pm, and take in Edward, John, Irish and Market streets before finishing up at Rathkeltair carpark.

The entertainment will continue at Saint Patrick’s Square with a fabulous array of free activities including face painting, walkabout characters, arts and crafts, balloon modelling, reptile petting zoo, Irish dancing and live performances from local performers.  

Gracing the stage will be Newcastle Comhaltas, Cora Kelly and the Just Adam Band. For those wishing to stay indoors, there will also be free children’s activities hosted in Journey Church, Market Street. There will also be a special St Patrick’s Day programme of events in Down County Museum from 10am to 6pm, and in Down Arts Centre from 10.30am – 5pm.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said he is delighted to see the wonderful line-up of events and activities in both Downpatrick and Newry.

“Families will be assured of a wonderful day out. Our district is acknowledged as the home of Saint Patrick—we are celebrating that link through colourful processions, music, dance and entertainment. This will be a terrific day out for everyone and I hope to see you all there,” he said.

Saint Patrick’s celebrations is supported by Tourism NI and The Executive Office.