London St Patrick's Festival
Come and enjoy the craic as we celebrate the Irish community and culture across London in March.
There’ll be art and talks at City Hall, walking tours and treasure trails through central London, music and poetry on the Underground, Irish film screenings, and of course, the parade and festival in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 19 March.
For the best way to plan your journey, visit tfl.gov.uk/journeyplanner
Over 125,000 people marked St Patrick's Day by watching the parade or celebrating in Trafalgar Square. Watch the video to see how much fun was had - and get excited for the three day celebration in 2017!
Every year, we encourage people to line the streets from Piccadilly to Trafalgar Square at midday to cheer on the annual parade.
If you’ve not been before, it’s a sight to behold. There’ll be everything from London Irish sports clubs and dance schools to marching bands, community groups and pageantry. This year, we’ll also be welcoming master storytellers Macnas. They’re renowned for putting on big, bold visual spectacles. So don’t miss it!
Main stage highlights
Jarlath Regan, one of the most prolific Irish stand-up comedians of the past decade will be your host for St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The packed line-up includes the Late Late Show House Band who’ll play a selection of Irish favourites. There’ll also be performances by Liam O'Maonlai, Lisa Lambe, Jack L and some very special guests.
Then there’s country star Derek Ryan and his band who’ll be sure to get the crowd singing and toes tapping. There’ll be Irish hip-hop too in the form of the fantastic Rusangano Family as well as energetic neo-trad band MOXIE.
Music and dance will flow from the Trad Gathering Project, while the #IamIrish Collective will present a multicultural mix of music. You can also enjoy Irish dance from the Maguire O’Shea Academy. While if you’re a fan of musicals, don’t miss our showcase of Irish performers making waves in the West End.
The day will close with a massive singalong finale, which will feature, among others, three powerful Irish female voices. Keep checking here for news on timings.
If you need to take some time out, pop in for tea and cake wrapped up in warm Irish chat!
Learn about the work community and sports organisations do in London to support Irish people and showcase Irish sport and culture.
Street Food Market
Did you know St Patrick’s Day was traditionally known as the day of feasting? That means it’s a great excuse to try some delicious food and drink from Ireland.
To whet your appetite, last year’s mouth-watering array of tasty treats included Irish black pudding, Scotch eggs, Irish fried chicken sarnies and American-style Irish beef-burgers! Top Irish chef John Relihan was the star culinary attraction in 2016. This year promises to be even bigger!
Enjoy one of our very special free walks to celebrate Ireland’s national patron saint. These specially commissioned tours will be led by Tony McDonnell, London Blue Badge Tour Guide.
To book your place call Tony on 07850 184790.
Walk 1: Terrible Beauty
Friday 17 March, 2pm
From the 1916 rebellion in London to independence and empire, this tour has it all. After Dublin, London was the city most connected to the Easter Rising. Not just as the seat of government from which the rebels fought to break free but through the deep connections many held with this city. This lively tour will turn the walk from Trafalgar Square to Whitehall into an amazing journey through the changes released by the rebellion. This is the London side of the story. Come and relive the excitement of those times.
Meet at South side of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square.
Walk 2: Where the String Broke
Saturday 18 March, 2pm
From dancing and drinking to finding somewhere to doss, Camden is probably the capital of Irish London. Find ballrooms, pubs, churches, hostels and the characters who gave this place its vibrant Irish reputation for so long. Come and hear about lumpers, impresarios, navvies, writers and musicians on this fascinating walk.
Meet at Camden Town Tube station (Kentish Town Road exit).
Walk 3: The Emerald City
Sunday 19 March, 2pm
This stroll takes in Ludgate Hill, along Fleet Street, into the Temple and ends in Covent Garden. Come and discover some amazing Irish connections and meet some of the great names of the Irish past. Stopping at pubs, churchyards, statues, courthouses and theatres – this walk will bring Irish London to life. Prime Ministers, politicians, press barons, poets, playwrights, revolutionaries and aristocrats - all play their part in this amazing story.
Meet at main steps of St Paul's Cathedral.
A showcase of Ireland's finest Irish film and animation, featuring short films, comedy, drama, family friendly films and a workshop for kids!
Irish Short Films
Friday 17th March, 5pm-9pm
London Film School, The Big Red Door, 24 Shelton Street/Langley St, Covent Garden, WC2H 9UB
A programme of award winning Irish Short Films, including David Naughton's The Saviour of Dublin City. Cert 15.
Want to submit a short? You've got til 1 March. Find out more here.
Saturday 18th March, 7.15pm – 8.45pm
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, off Leicester Sq, London WC2H 7BY
In post recession Dublin. What if it made perfect sense for ordinary people to kill each other for money? Better than slow grinding financial ruin and misery, and all done according to a strict code by consenting adults. This is Trading.
Starring Killian Scott (Love/Hate) and John Bradley (Game of Thrones). Cert 15. Directors: Rachael Moriarty & Peter Murphy. Tickets available from Prince Charles Cinema.
Song of the Sea and Shadow Animation Workshop (Family)
Sunday 19th March, 1pm
Regent Street Cinema, 309 Regent St, Marylebone, London W1B 2UW
Free, registration required for workshop
Watch the Oscar nominated animation Song of the Sea (90mins) and then take part in a fun animation workshop.
Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.
The screening will be followed by a children's shadow animation workshop with Kabutar Arts for 8-11 year olds. Places for the workshop are limited, please email [email protected] to register.
Screening and workshop are free to attend.
Cert U. Director: Tomm Moore
The Young Offenders (Comedy)
Sunday 19th March, 6pm – 8pm
Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, off Leicester Square, London WC2H 7BY
Two teenage boys cycle 160km on stolen bikes pursued by police to find a missing bale of cocaine worth 7 million euro. Set around the real event of Ireland's biggest cocaine seizure in 2007 of 440 million euro.
Starring Ros Hubbard Award winning duo Alex Murphy and Chris Walley. Cert 15. Director: Peter Foott.
This programme has been curated by Irish Film London, with the kind support of the Emigrant Support Programme, The Irish Youth Foundation and Culture Ireland.
Enjoy Irish-themed musical performances and poetry at Victoria, Waterloo, Tottenham Court Road and Covent Garden Tube stations on 17 March.
London’s St Patrick’s Festival comes to the iconic Camden Market for the first time on Saturday 18 March, with a line-up of performances and family events which celebrate the best in Irish music and culture. Join us for a cultural trail, family festival, and live concert featuring traditional and contemporary Irish music from Kila and Moxie.
Camden Cultural Trail
Saturday 18 March, 12pm - 6pm
Various locations around Camden Market
Journey through the market enjoying performances from Music For Ireland, with bands who will pop up in a variety of exciting locations including the Amphitheatre and Voodoo Ray’s pizza restaurant. Plus, Firstage will be bringing an augmented reality stage to the festival for the first time where guests can enjoy live virtual performances from all over Ireland.
Saturday 18 March, 12pm - 5pm
Atrium Kitchen, North Yard, NW1 8AH
A host of activities, games and workshops for kids including Irish dance lessons, face painting, and t-shirt decorating.
Saturday 18 March
Atrium Kitchen, North Yard, NW1 8AH
Entry: £6, children under 12, free
The legendary Kila, Ireland’s foremost folk band, will raise the roof in the afternoon with their upbeat, contemporary take on Irish folk music complete with an interactive kids show. In the evening, Moxie will take to the stage against the backdrop of the Atrium Arches in the heart of Camden Market, to perform a set that blends traditional song with modern jazz and world music.
Visit Camdenmarket.com for further details, showtimes and tickets.
A free adventure trail for the whole family.
With a special map and clues from Irish characters you'll meet along the way, this St Patrick's Day quest will take you from Stratton Street to the National Portrait Gallery. This Trail is approximately 1.5 miles long and takes 1.5 hours to complete.
Irish author, broadcaster, playwright, and journalist Mary Kenny comes to City Hall for a free lecture, “Perspectives on Irish Feminism”. The lecture will take place on Monday 13 March at 7.30pm in the Mayor's Chamber in City Hall.
To attend, register here www.irishculturalcentre.co.uk.
The Lecture is organised by the Irish Cultural Centre in collaboration with City Hall as part of the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Festival.
Don’t miss this exhibition between father and son, John B and Lorcan Vallely on level 2 at City Hall, curated by Barbara Stanley.
John B Vallely
One of Ireland’s leading artists, and also a musician. Born in 1941 in County Armagh, he sold his first painting in 1958 at the age of 17. In 1968, The Irish Times called him "one of the more exciting Irish painters under the age of thirty". He has produced 4,000 individual pieces over his career. In 2000, there was a large retrospective of his paintings in the town of his birth. His subject matter remains linked to the past, but his feeling for paint is very modern. Themes include rural Ireland, its traditions, music, sports and mythology.
John B, Vallely (b.1941), 'Magical Days at the old Fleadh'
Born in Armagh in 1979. After studying at Bath School of Art, he later went to Chelsea College of Art in 2004. In the past 11 years his work’s been shown in London, Glasgow, Bath and Oxford, in Italy and throughout Ireland. In summer 2014, he returned to Armagh to set up a studio and continue working as a full-time artist. He mainly uses charcoal, and acrylic to emphasise light and shade. This tonal quality gives his work an almost three-dimensional effect. His unique style is instantly recognisable.
Lorcan Vallely (b. 1979), 'Cross Country Race'
Celebrate St Patrick's festival across London - from a black tie ball to a brewery in Hoxton, the choice is yours!
Ireland Fund of Great Britain Noble Call
16 March, 7pm,St Andrew Holborn, 5 St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AB
The Ireland Funds Great Britain and The Young Leaders invite you to the go-to event of the season, the St. Patrick’s Day Noble Call. Join well known faces from stage and screen, celebrated Irish performers and more than 300 friends of The Ireland Funds Great Britain for an evening of culture, craic agus ceol. Sign up to the Young Leaders Society now and your ticket will be included in your membership.
St Patrick or the Pagans?
17 March, 7pm, Hackney Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, E5 0LY
St Patrick or the Pagans? An interactive comedic banquet exploring Ireland's pagan roots and the true story of St Patrick with live music from Honeyfeet.
St Patrick's Day Tea Dance
17 March, 12.30pm - 4.30pm, London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, NW1 9XB
Join us for a wonderful 2 course meal including Irish favourite, bacon & cabbage. Followed by music from LIC crowd favourite Mustang, toget us into the party spirit! An afternoon full of food, song, dance and raffle to top it off.
St Patrick's Evening with Ceílí Max
17 March, 7.30pm, Irish Culture Centre, Glenarm Rd, E5 0LY
Ceílí Max is a group of vibrant and talented young musicians who will not fail to entertain you. It will be a night of dance, great music and mighty craic. No dance experience needed!
17 March, 8pm, London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, NW1 9XB
Irish folk and world music legends KILA come to the Centre for a very special London show on St Patrick's Day as part of a huge programme at the London Irish Centre. Featuring Rossa Ó Snodaigh, Colm Ó Snodaigh, Dee Armstrong, Eoin Dillon, Seanán Brennan, Brian Hogan and Dave Hingerty, don't miss this opportunity to see one of Ireland's most innovative bands at the top of their game.
St Patrick's Festival Ball
18 March, 7pm, Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane, W1J 7QY
A black tie ball with dinner and dancing to celebrate Ireland's patron saint,
Sean Keane in Concert
18 March, 8.45pm, London Irish Centre, 50-52 Camden Square, NW1 9XB
After 2016's sell out concert, Sean Keane will be back for the London Irish Centre's huge St Patrick's programme on Saturday 18th March. Sean will be joined by Pat Coyne and Fergus Feely.
40 Shades of Green
18 March, from 12noon, 40 FT Brewery, The Bootyard, Abbot Street, E8 3DP
Experience the best of food, drink and music from Irish Londoners, and enjoy a range of tipples from independent Irish brewers and distillers.
We’re inviting children from London’s primary schools to design a banner for London’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. The winning banner will be carried in this year’s St Patricks Day Parade on Sunday 19 March as it travels through central London.
The parade is now in its 15th year and more than 50,000 people watch as it passes by. With pageantry, floats, marching bands, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools, it’s a wonderful sight.
The procession makes its way down Piccadilly, on a 1.5-mile (2.4km) route. It takes in some of London’s most famous landmarks, including The Ritz, Piccadilly Circus, and Trafalgar Square and onto Whitehall.
- The overall winner will see their banner made up to full size and carried in the parade on 19 March. Winners can also help carry the banner on the day.
- All winners will receive a prize. A range of art materials courtesy of Cara Stationery will be given to different age groups. Other prizes may be awarded for groups winners. There will be no alternative to the prizes.
- The work of the winners will be collected and photographed, then shown at City Hall from 13-30 March. Original works should be collected by winners / their parents / teachers.
TV presenter Dermot O’ Leary will head the judging panel.
The closing date is 1 March 2017 and entries are subject to the terms and conditions