Last updated: 03:00 AM ET, Thu March 03 2016

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | March 03, 2016

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin

PHOTO: St. Patrick's Day Parade, Dublin (courtesy St. Patrick's Festival)

The St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin turns 21 this year, taking over the city with four days of events from March 17-20.

This year’s theme is “Imagine If,” which carries through the creative theme of the last two years into its final installment. The festival, which continues to grow in popularity, kicks off the tourism season in Ireland. 

Noel John McLoughlin, Fáilte Ireland’s director of marketing said: “Fáilte Ireland is investing significantly in this iconic festival and we consider Ireland to be lucky to have such a world-renowned event with which to kick off our tourism season."

The parade will have the youngest-ever grand marshal. Joanne O'Riordan, who won Ireland's Young Person of the Year, will lead this year's festival parade.

World-class events and street theater performances, as well as the parade, will serve to create a carnival-like atmosphere throughout the city. The popular cultural program “I Love My City” returns to the festival this year with a series of engaging, evocative and intimate cultural events and happenings curated by festival planners and staged at some of Dublin’s most popular and culturally significant venues.

Headline events feature a blend of established and emerging Irish and international artists, expressing themselves through a variety of disciplines, including literature, music, film, spoken word, design, visual art and more.

To get a taste of what the festival is all about, below are some of the main events taking place at the festival.

READ MORE: Discover Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route

Moth StorySlam

The popular Moth open-mic storytelling competition, which hails from New York City, will take place in Dublin this Saint Patrick’s Day at the Teelings Distillery. The theme is “Only in Dublin” and tickets for the event are around $10.

Look-see Run

Look-see Run is walk and a street performance all rolled into one. The walking event takes place just after sunset as members of the Performance Mavericks TheatreClub take participants around town. The performance is a walk, sometimes a talk and could be a run. It all depends. There is a warning with the event that states:

“Look-see RUN may or may not contain Glitter. Screeching. Loud music. Singing girls. Me. Man United. Door steps. Door slams. You. Balconies. Stars. Glowsi. Rnb. Heroes. Him. Snooker. Her. Railings. Contemplation. Us. Resolution. Us. Revelations. Us. Cars. Bricks. Skylines. Lanes. Cranes. Dancing. Us.”

Go at your own risk. The tours take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 18-19, meeting at the Hugh Lane Gallery.

The Children’s Soap Box

This is a special event will launch The Ark’s new Children’s Council, intended to give a voice to children around Dublin. Children have prepared soapbox-style performances using spoken word, stories and poetry to express their hopes and dreams for the future of Ireland. Guaranteed to be adorable, it will take place March 18 at The Ark Children’s Cultural Center in Temple Bar.

“Rarity” by Tonnta Music

Visit the Natural History Museum and listen to the choral performance of “Rarity,” combining live singers and electronic vocal soundscape. The event takes place on March 18 with performances at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

READ MORE: Ireland Hopes The Force is Strong with Star Wars Tourism

ROUNDS by BoNs Synth Ensemble

At the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, see Glenn P. Keating delve into the world of synthesized music with BoNs, the musical and songwriting catalyst behind this multi-instrumentalist producer. The event takes place March 19 and tickets are around $10.

“Older Than Ireland”

At the National Gallery of Ireland, sit in on a special screening of the documentary “Older Than Ireland,” a film about centenarians in modern-day Ireland who talk about their journey through life in the 100-year-old country. A question-and-answer session follows. The event is free and takes place at 2 p.m. on March 19.

Future Composers

Presented by Ensemble Music, Future Composers explores a range of new Irish composition in a unique, immersive surrounding. Tickets are available for around $10 and the event takes place at The Chocolate Factory on Kings Inn Street on March 20.

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