Join the St Patrick’s Day Parade in London - Enjoy ‘the Craic’ - Sunday 16th March, 2014

by KathleenDuffy

London’s St Patrick’s Day Parade is a massive party which embraces all sections of the community. This year's theme is 'The World of Dance'!

London is famous for it’s tolerance and diversity, and on St Patrick's Day everyone is Irish! We all come together with banners, marching bands, baton-twirling majorettes, exotic carnival dancers, Irish dancing schools, friends from dozens of community organisations, decorated lorries, dancing nuns, and dozens of Popes (just in case on is needed at the last minute)!

Oh, and this year, there's a special section for families so you can take the kids and join in the parade too! Just turn up on the day and be part of the celebrations.

St Patrick's Day Parade Route

From Green Park to Trafalgar Square
St Patrick's Day Parade, London
St Patrick's Day Parade, London
K Duffy

Each year  tries to be more flamboyant than the last! In 2013 there was a huge, giant inflatable dragon - known as a puca.  It was an  incredible sight at over 36 metres long and 8 metres high.

At noon the dragon, along with lots of singing, dancing, fifes, drums  and general mayhem,  left  the appropriately named 'Green Park'.  Making our way down Oxford Street we marched on to Piccadilly Circus where Eros will wave us through. 

Then  we made our noisy way down Lower Regent Street. 

St Patrick's Day Parade, London From here we moved down posh Pall Mall, once home to numerous gentlemen's clubs.

Just round the corner from Pall Mall  is Fox of St James, the tobacconist where the great Irish writer, Oscar Wilde, used to buy his tailor-made cigarettes. (Apparently he smoked one hundred a day!).

But we didn't stop to look - we had to get to Trafalgar Square where the party really begins.

          c. K Duffy

St Patrick's Day Parade, London
St Patrick's Day Parade, London
K Duffy

Once in Trafalgar Square the entertainment begins and it follows roughly the same pattern each year. From 12 until 6pm there is a free afternoon of Irish cultural events.

You can expect to enjoy:

  • Top Irish comedy in the London Irish Comedy Festival Marquee
  • Traditional and contemporary music.
  • The house band from RTE's Late Late Show
  • DJs
  • Massive outdoor ceili
  • Irish food market
  • Children's area, including a chance to learn Irish dancing, meet Irish sports stars, and create arts and crafts.

 There may be variations year by year, but basically these are the usual forms of terrific entertainment.

And of course, the people!  Thousands of them - from all over London and beyond, coming together to celebrate 'Irishness' in all its creative forms.

Keep the Party going at The London Irish Centre

The London irish Centre really gets into the swing of things over the St Patrick's Day weekend.  If you fancied getting a good start to your Parade experience, why not pop in for Mass followed by a full Irish breakfast.  In 2012 over 1,500 people went along to the London Irish Centre to join in the celebrations.

For just £10 you can get a weekend pass. Here's what's going on over that weekend - from their website:

"This £10 donation gets you:

  • Top quality trad sessions through the day.
  • Big Party concert with The Late Late Show House Band
  • A specially-selected programm of Irish short films
  • Ireland v Italy Six Nations Rugby (Big Screen)
  • Delicious Irish food stalls (purchase food at stall)
  • The feel-good factor of helping those in need."

Here's a link to their webiste

St Patrick's Day Parade, London
St Patrick's Day Parade, London
K Duffy

So, if you have a great time at the St Patrick's Day Parade, you can carry on your love affair with all things Irish at the London Irish Centre.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Updated: 03/12/2014, KathleenDuffy
 
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KathleenDuffy on 03/08/2013

Yes, I could do - the photos on this article are the ones I took last year!

Mira on 03/08/2013

So that's where the name of Pall Mall cigarettes comes from! :) Pall Mall, the London street.
I plan to have a Guinness in an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day :)
Maybe you could add to this article some of your photos of the parade after March 17, if you'll be able to attend :)

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