Categories: EventsfamilyFun

Don’t miss our 2024 St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Newry and Downpatrick on Sunday 17 March.  With a packed programme of events, including our fabulous cross community parades led by St Patrick himself, there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy!

St Patrick's Day in Downpatrick 

Downpatrick Church Services

Saturday 16 March 2024

'Light the beacons' is the theme for this year's annual St Patrick's Day Festival on Saturday 16 March 2024 at Down Cathedral, Downpatrick.

9.15am: Holy Communion (Saul Church of Ireland)

10.15am - 11.30am: Pilgrimage walk from Saul to Down Cathedral (led by representatives of different churches)

11.45am: Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, Cross-Community Festival Service followed by Lighting of symbolic beacon and wreath laying ceremony at St Patrick's Grave

Sunday 17 March 2024

10am: St Colmcille's Downpatrick

10.30am: St Patrick's, Downpatrick (The Mass will have some Irish hymns and a few Irish greetings)

St Patrick's Day Parade, Downpatrick 

Kicking off the celebrations, Downpatrick’s vibrant and lively town centre will host its famous St Patrick’s Day parade, leaving the Downshire Estate at 1.30pm and heading to Rathkeltair carpark.  Spectators can expect a dazzling display of flamboyant floats, traditional music, and dance performances, creating an electric atmosphere for all to enjoy as it moves from the Downshire Estate at 1.30pm, onto Edward Street, John Street, Irish Street, Market Street, finishing up at Rathkeltair Car Park.

There will be a host of floats, sports groups, dance groups and community groups to join in the fun. 

Throughout the day, the all-new St Patrick’s village around St Patrick’s Square will be the place to experience traditional Céilí dancing, children’s rides, family friendly activities and a fantastic artisan fair.  Don’t forget to visit Down County Museum for a range of specially curated activities for the children delving into the rich history and folklore surrounding St Patrick.

Festivities across Downpatrick will run from 12 noon to 4pm

Another fresh attraction for this year’s festival is the Trail of Light exhibition, which will run from Friday 15 to Sunday 31 March. This outdoor exhibition will transform familiar spaces with unexpected moments and inspiring art installations.  These artworks are all unique so come along and see if you can find them.

Down County Museum and Down Arts Centre.

A full programme of events has been scheduled in both venues, starting at 11am.

St Patrick's Day in Newry

In Newry, the St Patrick’s Day Parade promises to be a visual feast, with community groups, local schools and organisations coming together with the famous, Beat Carnival, to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. The floats will leave the Quays Shopping Centre at 1pm, finishing in Kildare Street.  The celebrations will continue in the open Céilí marquee in Margerat Square and the heart of the town will be a hive of activity with stages in Marcus Square and Hill Street.

Other great venues for families to check out are McClelland Park and Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle, which will have a full programme of activities planned. 

Newry & Mourne Museum

Make sure you drop into Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle between 10am-4pm where a full programme of activities will run throughout the day including live traditional music, children’s sensory workshops as well as arts and craft workshops. These sessions are free of charge, but numbers are limited so pre-booking of places is advisable.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Newry

With all the things to see and enjoy, don’t forget to pick your spot along the parade route which will set off from The Quays Shopping Centre at 1pm. It will then move along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island to Kildare Street.

For those who want to take the celebrations right into the evening, why not book your tickets for the Mersey Beatles, who are back by popular demand in Newry Town Hall, performing their fabulous Hard Day’s Night show. 

Newry and Downpatrick are not the only places to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Newry, Mourne and Down

Check out our website for a full programme of events across the destination, including lots of ideas to immerse yourself in our great outdoors.

Down Cathedral and Saint Patrick's Grave
Down Cathedral and Saint Patrick's Grave

Down Cathedral, a Cathedral of the Church of Ireland with magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and beautiful organ case was built in 1183 as a Benedictine Monastry. The patron saint, Patrick is believed to be buried in the nearby graveyard.

The Saint Patrick Centre
Visitor Centres & Museums
The Saint Patrick Centre

The Saint Patrick Centre is the only permanent exhibition in the World about Ireland’s Patron Saint. The History of Ireland starts here in Patrick’s words, which guide you through our amazing multimedia exhibition. Located 2 Hours north of Dublin and 35 minutes south of Belfast beside Saint Patrick’s Grave with a fantastic Craft Store and incredible Garden Cafe. This needs to be your first stop in Ireland.

St Patrick's Day Parade in Downpatrick
Family Fun
Performers walking down Market Street in Downpatrick as part of the St Patrick's Day parade.

St. Patrick's Day parades will be the centre of celebrations in Downpatrick and Newry on St Patrick’s Day. Led by St Patrick himself, the parades on Sunday 17 March 2024 will offer a feast for eyes and ears as swirling dancers, community floats and costumed characters entertain the crowds.

St Patrick's Day Parade in Newry
Family Fun
Children taking part in St Patrick's Day Parade.

St Patrick's Day Parades will be the centre of celebrations in Newry and Downpatrick on St Patrick’s Day. Led by Saint Patrick himself, the Parades on Sunday 17 March 2024 will offer a feast for eyes and ears as swirling dancers, community floats and costumed characters entertain the crowds.