This year's Festival kickstarts on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th with free family entertainment including music, street theatre and the Festival Market set to transform Patrick's Street from 10am to 6pm. The Festival Market and music moves to Grand Parade on Tuesday 17th, as the parade takes over the city. Throughout the festival, there will be extensive series of traditional Irish Music Sessions with the Lee Sessions, culminating in the newest addition to their festival programme, the Paddy's Night Fleadh, which takes place on Tuesday, March 17th at 8pm in Cork Opera House. The Fleadh will feature John Spillane, Jimmy Crowley, Karen Casey, Niall Vallely, Pulses of Tradition, Anna Mitchell, and many more.
This year's theme - Cultural Concepts, A Play On Culture is captured throughout the festival in every form, from horticulture to a play on language. With no two interpretations the same and a mix of ethnicities making up nearly 20% of this year's participants, the diversity of culture in Cork is apparent.
Commenting at the launch, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mary Shields said: “The Cork St Patrick's Festival 2015 once again focuses on free family entertainment and offers a fresh alternative to the other festivals. By emphasising the family aspect of this celebration, we are nurturing the Festival for future generations and renewing the reputation of St. Patrick's Day.”
“The city is set to be a hive of activity offering a variety of music, food and street performances to suit every type of audience. We welcome young and old to come and enjoy the cultural atmosphere with over 80,000 people expected in the city for this year's Festival,” added the Lord Mayor.
The parade itself, led by the Lord Mayor and Grand Marshall, begins at 1pm on Tuesday, March 17th on South Mall and will travel onto Grand Parade, St. Patrick's Street and finish at Merchant's Quay. A strong sense of community involvement is evident in this year's parade with up to 3000 participants from community arts, sports and music groups from the city, county and beyond taking part. These will be joined by carnival floats with local commissions by Dowtcha Puppets and Cork Community Art Link, along with commissions by street theatre companies LUXe, Spraoi and Bui Bolg.
For details on the Festival programme, log on to www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie, or join the Cork St. Patrick's Festival's official Facebook and Twitter pages.
For those who cannot make it to Cork St. Patrick's Festival, there will be a live stream on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie.
The Cork St. Patrick's Festival is organised by Cork City Council and is proudly supported by Cork Airport, Cork's 96FM, C103FM and the Evening Echo.