Limerick the place to be this St. Patrick’s Day

  • Limerick St. Patrick's festival. (Pic Sean Curtin/True Media)

Fun filled family events throughout the weekend. Limerick will celebrate its largest ever St. Patrick’s Festival this weekend with over 30 events taking place and thousands of musicians and spectators expected to flock to the city for the celebrations.

Around 4,000 participants will take part in the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade along a two kilometre route through the heart of Limerick city on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday 17 March at 12 noon.

The theme of this year’s parade is Circus, celebrating 250 years of the art form which has enthralled and amazed boys and girls of all ages down through the years.

The Grand Marshal is the Queen of Ireland’s oldest and national circus, Marion Fossett, ringmaster of Fossett’s Circus, who themselves are celebrating their 130th anniversary in 2018.

Meanwhile parades are also taking places across the county in Abbeyfeale, Askeaton, Ballylanders, Bruff, Castleconnell, Herbertstown, Kilfinane, Kilmallock, Newcastle West, Rathkeale.

International Band Chamopinship 2016

On Sunday 18th March at 12 noon, Ireland’s only International Band Championship gets underway, with 21 marching bands from Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Germany and the United States, competing in the 48th annual Limerick International Band Championship.

Even on the coldest day the spectacular arrangements of music, as the bands march down O’Connell Street, Limerick promise to warm the heart.

Later that evening all eyes will be on King John’s Castle for St. Patrick’s Festival Extravaganza as dramatic illuminations are projected onto the historic castle, followed by a spectacular fireworks display which will transform the city’s skies into an explosion of colour! This promises to be a tremendous treat for the whole family with the display set to get underway at 9pm.

St. Patrick’s Festival Extravaganza at King John’s Castle event is a collaboration between King John’s Castle and Limerick School of Art and Design LIT, with grant funding from Limerick City and County Council.

In addition to the three main events, there are over 30 other events taking place as part of the Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival.

Fossett's Circus Marion and Otto

Among the other fun-filled family events taking place for Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival include:

Panoramic Wheel & Traditional Carousel, 10 March - 15 April at Arthur’s Quay Park – enjoy fun-filled family activities at Arthur’s Quay Park with an impressive panoramic wheel reaching 39 metres at its height, along with a traditional carousel, for those who prefer to stay closer to the ground.

Fossett’s Circus 130th Anniversary Tour of Ireland, 15 - 19 March at Cleeve’s Car Park, O’Callaghan Strand – in addition to Marion Fossett being Limerick’s Parade Grand Marshal, the circus is coming to town. As a special offer Fossett’s have kindly offered 200 tickets for Cliona’s Foundation and the Lumen Parade participants from the West End Youth Centre, Southill Family Resource Centre and St Michaels School to attend the circus.

John McCarthy’s Circus Bar Exhibition, 16 - 18 March at Limerick Museum – this is a unique collection of circus memorabilia collected and lovingly care for by four generations of the McCarthy family from Cappamore.

St Patrick’s Weekend Unlocked, 17 - 18 March at Limerick Milk Market – sample the unique atmosphere and savour the delights of Limerick’s Milk Market.

Jerry Fish and Brian Deady will entertain concert goers in their own inimitable ways at separate gigs in the city, while the Joyce Brothers Weekend is on in Kilfinane.

For the more energetic, there is a special Weekend Cycling Tour, a Sunset Kayak Tour, Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Run, Rock Climbing Taster Sessions and watersports adventures.

Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing & Communications with Limerick City and County Council said: “The 2018 Limerick St Patrick’s Festival will be without doubt one of the largest ever held in Limerick with a carnival atmosphere promised for the weekend rounded off with a not-to-be missed fireworks display on Sunday evening.”

“The weather’s looking dry and with a huge number of family friendly events on the programme, there’s nowhere else to be this weekend, so why not wrap up warm and soak up the unique atmosphere of Limerick during the festival as there is so much to do and see.”

For a listing of all events about Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival visit

Grooveyard is producing this year’s parade on behalf of Limerick City and County Council. Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival is kindly sponsored by Analog Devices, King John’s Castle, Limerick Strand Hotel, Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick Institute of Technology, Mr Binman, Ishka and Limerick’s Live95fm.