5 things to do this St. Patrick's Weekend
So, there’s this friend of mine whose stories always start with ‘I was on the bus and…’ and similarly, it feels a bit like every post we write starts with ‘After two long years…’
Having said that:
After two long years the St Patrick’s day festival is finally back, and it's really stepped up this year. With a brand new identity and lots of different cultural events running all over the place, it’s now more a five day festival rather than the traditional parade down Dame street followed by a load of tourists getting wasted in Temple Bar.
Traditionally it’s been the chance for people around the world to claim Irish heritage and to turn things green, like buildings, rivers, dinners and sheep. There’s always been a narrative of how important it is to Ireland's standing in the world both culturally and economically that a tiny little country like ours has everyone claiming to be Irish at least for one day. I have to say this year, I’m exceptionally proud that Bord Failte have suspended their global greening campaign and instead are suggesting that significant buildings are lit up in Ukranian colours in solidarity. That to me, feels much more in keeping with a sense of Irishness than going green ever would.
Anyway, rather than getting any more misty eyed about it, here’s a run down of some of our favourite things to do on St. Patrick's day.
Go for the perfect pint
It wouldn't be the day itself if we didn't start off with this first. Going for the perfect pint is one of the best ways to kick off the festivities of St. Patrick's Day but picking the right spot is absolutely crucial. If you're looking to be at the helm of it all, head into town and make your way to The Long Hall, Grogan's, Mulligan's or for somewhere a bit quieter, Fallon’s on Francis Street. However if you are looking to get out of the madness of town altogether get out to The Gravediggers in Glasnevin for a lovely relaxed pint.
Head to the Festival Quarter
After a two year hiatus the festival is back in town and bigger than ever. Now if you're brave enough to head to the parade itself it's well worth it but this year the festival has launched the Festival Quarter in Collins Barrack and it is jam packed with a brilliant line up of music, comedy and night time bops (with a lot of the events being free!). It's a brilliant way to immerse yourself into some of the best new Irish music and talent in the grand environs of Collins Barracks.
Celebrate Harry's Clarke's birthday
Harry Clarke is one of Ireland's best known artists (particularly known for his iconic stained glass work) and shares his birthday with the big day itself. In honour of this fact, why not head into the Hugh Lane Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland or the Little Museum of Dublin and see his intricate works in the flesh.
Get out into the great, green outdoors
In the spirit of the very green day that it is, why not make the most of it and head into the great, green outdoors that we are so blessed with in Dublin. This could be a visit to the National Botanic Gardens, a cycle around Phoenix Park, a coffee and a stroll along Bull Island or a nice DART trip to Howth, Killiney Hill or Bray Head. We are spoilt for choice with this one.
Sit back, relax and stay in the cosy indoors
This one is a firm favourite by a lot of locals and it is staying inside. Get your favourite food in, maybe a nice little drink or two, put on your comfiest clothes, sit back, relax and switch on the parade from the joy of your own home. It can honestly be the best way to celebrate the big day, sure maybe NEXT year you’ll make it out there (you say to yourself for the umpteenth time).