Eight ways to celebrate Saint Patricks Day in Galway

Macnas young ensemble members during the St Patrick's Day Parade at Eyre Square. Photo courtesy of the Connacht Tribune.

This year’s Saint Patricks Day festival is shaping up to be the biggest and best one yet.

For the first time, due to the new bank holiday, the festival will take place over the course of a four-day weekend with activities and spectacles for all the family.

Here are eight ways to celebrate Saint Patricks Day in Galway City:

  1. Watch the parade
Young spectators at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in the city.
Photo courtesy of the Connacht Tribune.

This year marks the return of the Saint Patricks Day Parade in Galway City.

The parade, on 17 March, will begin at 11.30am at NUI Galway.

It will cross over the Salmon Weir bridge, onto Eglington Street and past Eyre Square before reaching its conclusion on Prospect Hill.

Community and cultural groups will take part in the parade, as well as sporting groups and Irelands pioneering spectacle theatre company – Macnas.

Spectators can expect to see floats, marching bands, the Macnas drummers and Galway Community Circus for a special performance.

2. Try your hand at Bingo Loco

Photo courtesy of Bingo Loco.

Bingo Loco flips traditional bingo on its head.

It is an interactive stage show with dance-offs, lip-sync battles, throwback anthems, confetti showers and lots of great prizes.

Described as a “worldwide phenomenon” by Lonely Planet, Bingo Loco has entertained more than 500,000 people across Ireland, the UK, Australia, Canada, UAE, Bahrain and the United States.

Bingo Loco takes place in Leisureland, Salthill on Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March.

3. Spot Galway’s Green Buildings

Galway’s Town Hall Theatre. Photo by Melissa Anderson.

Traditionally on Saint Patricks Day, Irish people watch as well-known Dublin buildings such as Dublin Castle, Áras an Uacharáin and the Four Courts turn green.

This year, some of Galway’s buildings and landmarks will have their first “greening”.

Expect to see the Town Hall Theatre and Galway City Museum go green for the festivities.

Galway City Council have also confirmed that a secret location along the parade route will also go green for the occasion. See if you can spot it on the day!

4. Visit Eyre Square

Eyre Square’s iconic sails. Photo by Melissa Anderson.

Why not take a trip to the iconic Eyre Square this Saint Patricks Day, which will be at the centre of the weekends celebrations.

The event organisers have said to expect Eyre Square to transform for the weekend with the installation of a stretch tent, amusements similar to the Christmas market amusements, face-painting and street performers.

There will be live music daily at the plaza in Eyre Square at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm from the 17-20 March.

5. Have a pint in the local pub

Is there a more Irish way of celebrating the feast of Saint Patrick?

Galway is home to a number of traditional pubs that serve the creamiest pints of Guinness.

Top picks are: Tigh Neachtains, Jimmy Fahy’s (formerly Carroll’s), Taylor’s bar and Massimos.

6. Join in on Salthill’s Family Fun Day

Salthill Park. Photo by Tomás Herlihy.

Salthill will host various family-friendly activities on Saturday 19 March.

These will include sports activities, games, competitions and an obstacle course and will take place in Salthill Park throughout the day.

7. Have a swim at Blackrock

Blackrock Diving Tower. Photo by Tomás Herlihy.

While you’re in Salthill, if the weather is promising, why not go for a dip at Blackrock?

A popular haunt for local sea-lovers, there isn’t a day in the year where there isn’t a swimmer or two to be spotted off Galway bay.

*Remember to swim only when it is safe to do so – Salthill weather can be patchy!

8. Dine out at Supermac’s

Supermac’s Eyre Square. Photo by Melissa Anderson.

There are many examples of things that Galway does better than the rest, and there is no better example than Supermac’s.

From their infamous curry chips to their delicious Papa John’s pizza – Supermac’s is a cult favourite for Galwegians.

On any given night in Eyre Square, the queue for Supermac’s is usually as long as the queue for the local pubs.

Opened in 1978, Galway’s biggest export now has around 118 restaurants throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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