Waterford St. Patrick’s Festival

The Burning Circus

Waterford City and County Council, in association with Fáilte Ireland and EveryEvent, is delighted to announce a jam-packed four-day programme of Waterford St. Patrick’s Festival events from Friday, March 15th to Monday, March 18th.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’, with community, sports, and charity groups encouraged to get involved to showcase the very best of all things Waterford in a show of colour, music and pageantry.  And best of all…most events are FREE!

With so much to do, see and experience, make sure you don’t miss a beat and download the full programme, with links to all events and where apt, ticket bookings, visit https://stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com/programme-of-events/

The Burning Circus
The Burning Circus

Music:  Kick-start your St. Patrick’s Festival weekend with free family fun activities at John Robert’s Square.  Over the four-day festival, Waterford’s city centre will be abuzz with the return of the much-loved City Centre Fairground, perfect fun for the littlest family members.  Wobbly Circus has been enthralling and delighting for years, so don’t miss them throughout the weekend, along with Waterford Active Cities and the Irish Olympic Federation, demonstrating sports skills of all codes.

Local talent will be feature big and bold as the Suir Ukulele Strummers, Waterford Centre of Music Choir, Bienvue Gospel Choir, the Uilleann Pipe Orchestra, EJ Mae, Liam & Bill, Omega 3, Knockadollys, Divorce Party, The Bad Shirts, the Booley House, Mark Atkins, and Caoimhe Power perform free gigs throughout the centre, from the Waterford Cultural Quarter (WCQ) to John Roberts Square to the Apple Market Stage. The Thomas Francis Meagher Fife and Drum band, a Waterford musical institution is the perfect prelude to St. Patrick’s Day at the Bishop’s Palace.

You can soak up the atmosphere of two great sporting clashes as Waterford take on Kilkenny in the National Hurling Final and Ireland and Scotland go head to head in the Six Nations Championship…all on the Big Screen at Bailey’s New Street.

Late night entertainment:  The music continues into the evening with energetic performances from Alan Power and the Aftershocks, Delta Dog, The Bad Shirts and Spring Break on the Apple Market Stage, Louise & Simon Whelan and Amaro Swingos at WCQ and back by phenomenal demand, the Churchyard Sessions at Bailey’s New Street featuring The Mulligans and Mad Ferrit.  The Burning Circus brings its intense, fiery spectacle to the Apple Market Stage when the lights go down!

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

Craft and entertainment:  With so much to choose from, don’t tie yourself up in knots, although the Celtic Knotwork Workshop in Waterford Cultural Quarter might be the perfect solution in case you do! Lovers of literature be sure to get along to the Spoken Word stage, while Fierce Mild will be bringing the classic 90’s pop tunes we all danced along to.

Arts & Crafts for all:  Paint, print and play at The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) Children’s Arts and Crafts Workshops and at City Square Shopping Centre or try your hand at festive Lino Printing at GOMA.

Culture & Tours: Delve into the illustrious history of Ireland’s Oldest City with free entry to the Medieval Museum. You’ll get the steps in with an Afternoon Walking History tour of the Viking Triangle or take a jaunt on the Illuminations Tour when the sun goes down to see the iconic city walls up close.  The Urban Greenway tour quite literally puts the (green) spotlight on the city’s historical monuments and iconic buildings.  You can take the route the Vikings once took and see the city from the majestic River Suir aboard the Osprey Viking Cruise, while the multi-cultural celebration of language, culture and music at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre is a must.

Theatre:  Garter Lane and the Theatre Royal have a St. Patrick’s Weekend programme that will appeal to all lovers of good music, and rib-tickling comedy.  The Clancy Family returns to the Theatre Royal with songs and memories from the Clancy household, while funnyman Neil Delamare will bring his razor-sharp observations on life and trad.  Everyone’s favourite Cork man, Reggie from the Blackrock Road will play homage to his beloved Leeside at Garter Lane.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade:  The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Seize the Déise’ and will begin at 1pm sharp on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th.  Led by Grand Marshall, All-Ireland finalists, Waterford Senior Camogie team, over 2,000 participants are scheduled to take part in the parade.

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

The parade begins at Waterford Bus Station and will proceed along the Quay, past the Clock Tower and the Plaza, moving around to the Mall, with entries gathering at the Bridge Street end of the Quay at the start of the parade.

Optimum viewing positions are from the Quays, where there is plenty of room as well as at   the Mall.  The parade will end at the Mall / Parnell Street junction and we ask that patrons do not congregate in Parnell Street as this area is designated for post-parade and production staff.

Waterford City and County Council is delighted to announce an Autism Family Friendly Area at the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  Working with Autism Friendly Waterford and 50 Shades of Exceptional we are proud to introduce this initiative as part of our vision to make Waterford Ireland’s first autism friendly city.  A special area has also been reserved and sign-posted for wheelchair users / special access at Mall Lane.  This is on a first come, first served basis and intending patrons should make themselves known to stewards.

Last minute entries to the parade are still open to community groups from Waterford City, County and beyond – intending participants should complete the application form on the St. Patrick’s Festival website www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com

There will also be an online streaming of the Parade, so those who cannot attend but still wish to enjoy the celebrations.

To find out more details of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and four-day festival in Waterford visit www.stpatricksfestivalwaterford.com to download the 2024 programme and keep an eye out on Waterford St. Patrick’s Day Festival social media channels.