Waterford Home of the St. Patrick’s Day Founder

Waterford St. Patrick's day Parade

Waterford  Home of the St. Patrick’s Day Founder is set to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a 4 Day Festival Extravaganza of Free Events

Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations have been extended to run for over 4 days this year with a host of free activities and events on offer for the young and not-so-young from the city to the county.

Waterford man Fr Luke Wadding was the founder of St. Patrick’s Day. When based in Rome in the 1630s it was he who was in charge of creating the official list of saints of the Roman Catholic Church. While he was compiling this list, he added in the Feast of St. Patrick on March 17th as the Franciscans always celebrated that Saint.

Waterford St. Patrick's day Parade
Waterford St. Patrick’s day Parade

In celebration of  St.Patrick’s Waterford connection, a fun-filled 4-day festival will be on offer in the city.  A St. Patrick’s Festival funfair, a live music stage, a series of historical walking tours and river cruises, Whisky tasting workshops and a food and drinks market will be kicking celebrations off in Ireland’s oldest City on March 15th.

On March 16th a huge variety of events are on offer from an Irish dancing show with the famous Booley House dancers at The Aplplemarket stage to a series of Irish language events, a Celtic Knot workshop to a live music stage, a spoken word arena, Waterford Cultural Quarter events, free children’s arts and crafts workshops, historical walking tours and complimentary access to Waterford’s Medieval Museum, plus history talks and fairground rides.

On March 17th there are St. Patrick’s Day parades taking place in Dungarvan, Cappoquin, Tramore and Waterford City. The theme for Waterford City’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’ and will feature many exciting entries from Waterford’s people and community, sports and charity groups, showcasing the county’s diverse culture, famous heritage, and musical and burgeoning artistic talent. Waterford’s Camogie team will carry the role of Grand Marshal; the Déise team made history last year by reaching their first All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final in 78 years. Waterford’s St Patrick’s Day parade will start at 1 pm from the Bridge Street end of the Quay and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, concluding at the Parnell Street end of the Mall.

Waterford Panto at Waterford's St. Patrick's day
Waterford Panto at Waterford’s St. Patrick’s day

There will be green fever in West Waterford too with the 45th parade taking place in Dungarvan from 2 pm preceded by a vintage car parade plus live music from the main stage in Grattan Square from 1pm. The parade will commence from Crotty’s corner and travel over the causeway into Grattan Square turning right over O’Connell Street and concluding at the end of Wolftone Road. The theme this year includes Irish folklore and Myths and will be led by local legends Tom and Carmel Keith.

The 11th annual Cappoquin parade commences in the West Waterford town at 11.30 am and in Tramore, the 2024 St Patrick’s Day parade will commence from 1.30 pm proceeding across the Summerhill Junction onto the Old Waterford Road (R682) to the Racecourse Roundabout and then heading downhill to the GAA Roundabout where it will proceed along Lower Branch Road to the former Railway Station Building.

On March 18th at Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Festival, there will be a series of live music events, a St. Patrick’s Day Fairground in John Robert’s Square, and historical walking tours led by the team at Waterford Treasurers and River cruises on the River Suir on offer.

Mad Ferritt playing at Waterford ST. Patrick's Festival
Mad Ferritt playing at Waterford ST. Patrick’s Festival

Even though St Patrick’s Day is emblazoned in the heart of the Waterford festival calendar there was one figure in Waterford’s history who was not so keen on celebrating the national feast day and that was Waterford’s very own Saint Declan who lived in Ardmore, Waterford between 350 AD and 450AD.  He is a fairly important man and he is said to have brought Christianity to Ireland before St. Patrick had even set foot on the Emerald Isle. In the 5th century, St. Declan left his monastery in Waterford to walk to Cashel to meet with the future patron saint, Patrick; the route today is known as the impressive 72-mile hiking trail of St. Declan’s Way. Legend has it that on that day in the 5th century, St Declan took the pilgrimage to Cashel to sort out this conundrum in a meeting with St Patrick. Here, it was agreed that the Waterford saint would have unchallenged authority over the Deise, with Patrick becoming the primate of all Ireland. Patrick also promised never to enter the territory of Declan — so honour was maintained on all sides. The legacy since has been that Waterford to this day has 2 feast day celebrations, St Patrick’s Day on March 17th and the 24th of July is St Declan’s in his hometown of Ardmore, where the Ardmore Pattern is held in his honour.

For further details on all of Waterford’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations see www.visitwaterford.com