St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny begins six days of festival events today.
With American marching bands, fireworks, fire shows, concerts, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, street entertainment and more, the city expects to welcome some 30,000 visitors over the coming days.
The 2022 St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny is the biggest yet and boasts lots of free events for children including workshops, stilt walkers and street entertainment shows. It’s also Kilkenny’s first in-person festival since Covid restrictions began.
For families, there is the festival street food market and picnic area, carnival rides, live music on the Festival Bandstand and interactive drumming shows. For the adults looking to celebrate, there are workshops, over 80 Kilkenny Tradfest concerts and gigs.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2022
The main event, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns after a two-year absence.
Communities and groups from around the county, as well as musicians, creatives and ‘wolves’ will be taking to the streets led by Grand Marshal, Irish Paralympian Mary Fitzgerald.
The Parade will begin at 1.30 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day with over fifty groups participating.
Led by the Army Colour Party representing James Stephen’s Barracks, the Parade will start at Upper John’s Street, cross John’s Bridge, pass by the reviewing stand at The Parade, turn up High Street and will finish at The Market Yard.
Musical highlights include the St. Patrick’s Brass and Reed Band, the Ballycallan Drum and Fife Band, who have a proud local music heritage going back five generations, The Hit Machine – powerful Celtic Drummers – and The Irish Prison Service Pipe Band, formed in 1992, by officers from prisons across Ireland.
Participating for the first time are the county’s neighbours, Enniscorthy Wexford Re-enactment Group.
Dressed in period costume, they will portray local Norman history featuring historical figures like Isabel and William Marshall, Strongbow and Aoife, who together built up Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle.
A special ‘Run With The Wolves’ pageant has been created by local community groups under the guidance of artist Bridget Ni Dhúinn and supported by Kilkenny and Carlow Education Training Board and Kilkenny County Council. The pageant includes Camphill Communities, L’Arche, Deise Medieval and Kilkenny Rhythm Riot Drummers, to bring the theme to life as the troupe accompany Moll, the Giant Wolf, through the streets of Kilkenny.
Attractions and entertainment throughout the Marble City will be full of carnival, street performers, acrobatic shows, alongside great music to celebrate the festivities.
Kila in Concert
On Saturday 19 March at 8p.m. there’s a special screening of Kila in concert; the music that features in Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated – and this year’s festival theme – Wolfwalkers. This is a free open-air screening outside the courthouse on Parliament Street.
The Festival Bandstand is located on Canal Square where there will be free live music concerts daily from Thursday through Sunday, made possible with the support of the Local Live Public Performance Scheme administered by Kilkenny Arts Office.
The full festival programme and everything you need to know about visiting Kilkenny this week can be found at www.stpatricksfestivalkilkenny.com. The festival begins today (15 March) and runs until Sunday.