Monday 23 April 2018 01:00:53 AM

St Patrick Festival Gears Up For A Great Week
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Downpatrick is buzzing getting ready to host some of Ireland’s most sought after traditional bands as part of the Home of Saint Patrick Festival running from Wednesday 15 – Saturday 19 March.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council is delighted that Beoga who recorded recently with Ed Sheeran will be returning to Downpatrick on Wednesday 15 March in the Great Hall at the Downshire Hospital from 7.30pm. We will also welcome a performance from local Irish dance school Brennan, Miskelly & McCormick.

Come see Beoga in the Great Hall at the Downshire Estate in Downpatrick.

St Patrick is well known for driving the snakes out of Ireland and the public will be able to have hands on experience with a reptile display and demonstrations in The Saint Patrick Centre on Thursday 16 March from 1pm to 4pm.

(Check out the images on Down News Facebook for:

St Patrick Landing in Downpatrick 2017).

On St Patrick’s morning for those feeling like a morning stroll can join in the pilgrimage prayer walk from Saul to Down Cathedral at 10am or those feeling more active can register to participate in the traditional St Patrick’s Walk at Castle Ward from 10.00am.

St Patrick enjoys a quiet moment beside the River Quoile before his festival commences this week in Downpatrick and across Ireland… and the world!

U105 presenters Frank Mitchell and Paul McKenna will entertain crowds in St Patrick Square from 12 noon with music, fun, games and plenty of craic. Live music from More Power to Your Elbow, Na Leani and 2 rock bands. Eddie Irvine Sports will also be in the Square with their racing simulators.

The historical coach tour led by local man Duane Fitzsimons will guide you through the heritage sites in St Patrick’s Country which will commence at 1.30pm on St Patrick’s Day. There will also be FREE Facepainting and bouncy castles in Knocknashinna Playpark from 12noon – 5pm.

Don’t forget your FREE tickets to the Drive In Movie on Saturday 18 March, Downpatrick Racecourse from 7.30pm. The movie this year is BFG. Great family fun night out for the entire family, grab your pillows and watch the movie in the comfort of your own car.

The Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland will be in Newry Cathedral on Sunday 19 March for the Home of St Patrick Festival on Sunday 19 March from 7.30pm. This inaugural concert will have up to 100 young musicians from across Ireland performing a light and highly tuneful programme of popular songs, movie themes and classics. Don’t miss the unique experience of one of the largest orchestral line-ups ever in a wonderful surroundings of Newry Cathedral. Tickets priced at £10 and tickets can be purchased from Sean Hollywood Arts Centre.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) Chairperson, Gillian Fitzpatrick said: “The Council have pulled out all the stops this year to ensure we celebrate St Patrick in style with a broad range of activities that everyone can enjoy. The cross community carnival parade on St Patrick’s Day has become one of the best in Northern Ireland will provide a spectacular cavalcade of floats, bands, fancy dress and lots of attractions.

“The celebrations will exceed all expectations this year and I would encourage everyone to come to Downpatrick and celebrate the Saint in his burial home and enjoy a week of fun packed activities. There are many FREE activities so everyone will have an opportunity to participate in the range of exciting events.”

The 100-piece Cross Border Orchestra.

For further information / to book tickets or to collect a FREE copy of the Festival Programme please contact Downpatrick Visitor Information Centre on 028 4461 2233 or full event listings online:

Follow us on @PatricksCountry #HomeofSaintPatrick