Ireland prepares for four-day St Patrick's Festival in Dublin

By Yang Feiyue ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-11 10:15:00

A diverse art and culture celebration in Ireland will mark this year's St. Patrick's Festival. It will bring together 3,000 artists, musicians, dancers, poets and performers for over 30 events in Dublin over March 16-19.

"To celebrate Ireland's national holiday, Dublin is set for four really great days and nights," says Brendan Carr, the mayor of Dublin.

"There truly is something for everyone to experience and enjoy."

This year's event looks to celebrate Ireland as a culturally diverse, complex and brave society.

Mesmerizing music, powerful performances, intriguing walks and inspiring talks will be on as part of the celebrations.

The festival has commissioned Stephen James Smith, a Dublin poet and playwright, to write a poem, entitled "My Ireland" for the festival. The poem will be accompanied by a short film.

The four-day festival is funded by the Ireland tourism development authority, the Dublin City Council and Department Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. It is expected to attract more than 100,000 overseas visitors.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the festival parade at noon on March 17. The parade will manifest the vision and talents of artists, designers and performers of all ages.

Community groups and pageant companies from across Ireland will present the rich textures of Irish heritage through a variety of performances, based on Ireland's magical fairy stories, ancient mythical tribes, pirates and living landscape.

Describing the event, Susan Kirby, CEO of St Patrick's Festival program, says: "St Patrick's Festival prepares to create a snapshot of contemporary Ireland through our program of creative cultural events.

"We want the 2017 program to showcase an authentic picture of contemporary Ireland with an inspiring myriad of events that capture this moment in time."

The festival this year will also expand outside of the Dublin city center, with events in Swords, Blanchardstown, Howth and even a mystery train to the Wild Atlantic Way.

The flagship tourism event attracted over 105,000 out-of-state visitors in 2016, who spent an average of 8.8 days in Ireland, and 6.5 days in Dublin.

Meanwhile, visitors are urged to explore this year's Treasure Hunt (March 18), traverse the Liffey and visit places of historical and contemporary interest during the festival.

The finest of local island cuisine up the road in Howth village, at the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival is also something they should sample, say the organizers.

Merrion Square will come alive with a vibrant day-long street carnival on March 19. The Festival Big Day Out is set to burst with street theater, music, aerial performances.