Sunday 19 March from 9:30am to 6pm
Parade KO 9.30am; Festival opening ceremony 10.45am
The Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival will this year be celebrated over 4 days with the highlights including the greening of the Sydney Opera House, a 3-day film festival and the much-celebrated parade and festival on Sunday 19th around Circular Quay and The Rocks.
The family-friendly, free event will see revellers flock to The Rocks to celebrate all aspects of Irish culture and raise a glass to the Irish patron Saint.
Pipe bands, Irish dancers, stilt walkers and popular children’s characters from PAW Patrol and Sesame St. will be amongst the 1,500 marchers from more than 50 groups taking part in the parade with the theme, ‘Proud of our Roots.’ Kicking off at 9.30 am, the parade will begin at Argyle and Lower Fort St. making its way down George St. and ending on MCA Lawn before the Opening Ceremony with traditional Smoking Ceremony commences at 10.45 am.
The festival has expanded to include four key areas this year. The Main Stage in First Fleet Park will showcase toe-tapping, live music and world-class Irish dance performances from 11 am to 6pm. With pumping reels and non-stop energy, Sásta is the headline act with a wonderful selection of tunes from Blackwater, Chloey May and Strawberries & Cabbage.
Custom’s House Square is home to the Family Area and dedicated Irish Dance stage this year. Character meet and greet, face-painting, Irish language lessons, art and craft tent and the much-loved Irish market can all be found in this area. Spectators can enjoy Irish dance performances from dancers aged 4-65 all day long as well as a tin-whistle lesson from Pelle Söderström before participants will be invited on stage to show off their new-found skills. Pelle will also be demonstrating the wonders of the uilleann pipes – the Irish bagpipes!
Everyone loves an Irish session and Bligh Barney plays host to the sessions area with spell bounding, traditional tunes from Celtic Tones and Paddy’s Craic. MCA Lawn will also see live music, DJ, character meet and greets and a Citizenship Ceremony where 40 people will becoming Australian citizens. An art exhibition from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the RIA highlights key events pertaining to Ireland membership of the EU.
Three nights of free Irish movies in partnership with The Irish Film Festival is sure to draw the crowds to Cadman’s Cottage. The Commitments Sing Along with Dublin City Cowboys on the 16th and the Phil Lynott Songs for While I’m Away are expected to be hugely popular. Irish favourites In Bruges and The Guard are the highlight for Saturday night.
St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th also sees the iconic Sydney Opera House go green as part of the Global Greening program which sees landmarks around the world lit up in green for St. Patrick’s Day.
Saturday 18th of March will see a free over 18s concert at First Fleet Park with music from Sasta kicking off at 7pm and bar and food trucks open from 6pm.