Ireland’s St Patrick’s Festival will take place virtually this yearAndrea Smith

While Ireland’s feast day, St Patrick’s Day, usually sees the country in full-on party mode, the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in the cancellation of its usual celebrations for the second year in a row.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors usually descend on the country to celebrate with locals at fun parades and dazzling events in cities and towns across the land. However, organisers of the St Patrick’s Festival have confirmed that the in-person events and flagship parade won’t go ahead in Dublin this year. The six-day festival will take place virtually instead via SPF TV, which will be located on its website and will be accessible globally.

Festival-goers at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin
Visitors usually celebrate with locals at fun parades © Cezary Zarebski Photography/Getty Images

The events have been created by artists and community organisations all across Ireland. They aim to offer a joyous and uplifting celebration of Ireland’s contemporary culture and traditional heritage. “Through SPF TV, the world is invited to take a front row seat at St Patrick’s Festival 2021, connecting our family of 80 million across the globe through music, theatre, art, performance, poetry, storytelling, traditional arts, tours, street and building lighting and art installations and much more,” organisers say.

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“While we cannot gather on the streets for the St Patrick’s Festival Parade this March 17th, we are reimagining how we bring to life the heart and soul of the national parade, through spectacle, marching bands, pageantry and ceremony, inviting our audiences to participate virtually and enjoy safely from their homes until we can come together again.”

St Patrick’s Festival runs from 12 to 17 March inclusive, and its website can be accessed here.

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