St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated across the world every year on March 17th and is a celebration of all things Irish from our food to our unique customs. With parades and celebrations as far away as Australia and the USA, Killarney is no exception. We even have our very own St Patrick’s Festival with fun for all the family.
For the next St Patrick’s day, take a trip to Killarney and enjoy these things.
1. Join the St Patrick’s Day Parade
We have a long history of celebrating this special day in Killarney, honouring the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. In 2015 it was decided that one day of celebrating was not enough and the St Patrick Festival was born, stretching the celebrations over several days.
The focal point of the festival is usually the impressive parade taking place on the 17th. The parade is almost a rite of passage for young local children who often perform, dance, play or act in the procession. Many locals have memories of either walking with the parade or enjoying the festivities from the shoulders of a taller relative.
The parade is filled with floats, bands, and performers and is treated with a real sense of pride by all involved. Each year the festival adopts a ‘theme’ and it is evident throughout the parade especially. Aside from the parade, the festival has included kids fun zones, street céilís, themed lake cruises, treasure hunts, teen discos and much more. Saint Patrick’s Day also unofficially represents the beginning of the busy season for tourists and visitors to Killarney, which usually lasts until late September.
2. Enjoy a “pint of plain”
Those familiar with the legendary archive of Guinness advertising will be familiar with the saying ‘A pint of plain is your only man’ – and if you’re not, you’re in for such a treat!
It is especially true when celebrating our national day when our patriotism is at an all-time high. If you want to enjoy Guinness, Killarney has some excellent bars, pubs and restaurants serving great pints along with a great atmosphere and live music to get us all in the mood.
If you’ve ventured into town, you can ask a local bartender to show you the correct way to pull a pint – believe it or not, there is a wrong way! If you’d rather stay ‘home’, our friendly staff in Cellar Bar serve excellent pints.
3. Marvel at the Killarney National Park
If the thought of wrapping yourself in a tricolour fills you with dread, you may want to spend your Saint Patrick’s Day holiday in the heart of Ireland, Killarney National Park. From a hotel on the edge of town, you can enjoy a leisurely walk taking in the beautiful scenery of the lakes and mountains and viewing historic sites such as Ross Castle and Muckross House.
Bikes will also be provided for more adventurous guests, who want to experience the park on two wheels. If you want to make it a St. Patricks day to remember, arrange a fishing trip on the lakes, or a leisurely horse ride with our friendly reception team who are always happy to help.
4. Travel back in time on a horse-drawn cart
Step back in time this St Patrick’s day with a relaxing journey on one of our most unique attractions and a very traditional form of transportation – a horse and cart. Jarveys (a word used for the driver of a hackney-coach or a jaunting car) takes tourists and locals alike on a journey around Killarney and the National Park treating you to many tales and stories about local landmarks and famous residents. Think of it as a private tour of the town given by a local who knows all of the best places to eat, drink and visit.
The best way to experience the pride and patriotism of St Patrick’s Day is to visit for yourself. There are so many smaller events happening to celebrate this special day, too many to mention, so keep an eye on the official St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney Facebook page to keep up to date.
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a daytime writer for Cahernane House Hotel Killarney, a charming four-star boutique hotel, beautifully set on a picturesque private estate and near the bustling Killarney town centre. Her fondness for travel, food, and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them.