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Calling All Parade-Lovers!

If you live in any major North American city, the chances are good that you’ve attended a St.Patrick’s Day parade or two, no matter how big or small it may have been. But for the real Irish (as well as the real Irish-at-heart!) nothing beats the real thing: St.Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Ireland’s biggest celebration has been drawing in tourists for quite some time, but this year, there is even more of a reason to head over to the Emerald Isle for March 17th. This year, Ireland’s tourism boards have launched a campaign called “The Gathering Ireland 2013”, and the 2013 St.Patrick’s Day Parade will be known as the People’s Parade. As part of the celebration, parade organizers are inviting 8,000 international visitors to march in the legendary Dublin St.Patrick’s Day Parade!

The St.Patrick Day Festival

Dublin’s St.Patrick’s Day festival is much more than a parade; it’s a multi-day activity filled with parties, walking tours, musical performances, and much, much more! The 2013 festival will be taking place from March 14th to March 18th. Despite the old tradition of St.Patrick’s celebrations, the Dublin St.Patrick’s Festival was only established as an official event by the government in 1995. For the past 17 years, the event has set out to reflect the talent and accomplishments of the Irish people. Each festival requires about 18 months of preparation, and is enjoyed by more than a million people.

Events and Activities

There are always plenty of great activities for everyone to enjoy over the four-day celebration. Children and teenagers will love Funfairs, a carnival fairground that offers carousel rides, roller coasters, and a ferris wheel. The fairgrounds are set up at three different locations around the city. The Irish Craft Beer Village, meanwhile, is a celebration of Irish craft brewing, and a great place to try out local artisanal beer and foods while listening to live music. History buffs will enjoy the walking tour called “In the Footsteps of St.Patrick”, lead by renowned Dublin historian, Pat Liddy. The tour discusses the life of the legendary saint, and takes its participants to some of Ireland’s most fascinating ancient sites. Over the four days, there are plenty of concerts, street performances, and there is even a 5km run!

Want to Join the People’s Parade?

Participants in the People’s Parade will have the chance to march in the procession, down the streets of Dublin, past historic landmarks (including Trinity College and Dublin Castle). As they march the 2.5km route, they will have the opportunity to wave to the enthusiastic parade-watchers, while soaking in the energy of the cheering crowd. The People’s Parade will be held on March 17th, and those interested in taking part in the parade are invited to apply online at the St.Patrick’s Day festival website. Applicants must be at least 15 years of age, and those under 19 must be accompanied by an adult. Keep in mind that participants in the parade are responsible for arranging their own travel and visa (if necessary) needs. Participants can apply as individuals, or as part of a group. Participants are not required to have Irish heritage; they simply must be Irish at heart… at least for St.Patrick’s Day!

 

 

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