Drogheda can expect a Saint Patrick’s Day with a difference this year, with a four-day extravaganza spanning Friday to Monday planned throughout the town, which is part of an extensive programme of exciting family events planned in the run up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann this August.
Residents and visitors to Drogheda will be treated to a taste of the Fleadh during the weekend-long celebration of Irish culture, music, language, song and dance.
Chairperson of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann organising committee, Lolo Robinson, has been appointed Grand Marshal of the parade and has urged those planning to come to Drogheda to make a point of participating in the many events scheduled to take place over weekend.
Lolo Robinson said “The theme of this year’s parade is ‘Celebrating Irish Culture’. This Saint Patrick’s Day will mark the beginning of an extensive programme of family friendly events, as Drogheda gets set to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018.”
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On Friday 16th of March, a concert with BBC Musican of the Year, Tim Edey will be held at the Barbican Theatre with a host of local musicians. Elsewhere at Odd Mollies, talented five-piece ‘Un-Reel’ made up of traditional Irish music students from DKIT will take to the stage followed by an open session.
The highlight of the weekend, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, will take place on Saturday, 17th March at midday. Amongst the many artistic floats and participants, 100 people from the Comhaltas Drogheda branch will take part along with 3 Irish dance schools and 10 wren boys. ‘Music At The Magical Marquee’ will also take place on the 17th at Duke Street Car Park, West Street and will incorporate a trad seisiún, face painting, balloon art and even an ice cream van for a fun family day out. Furthermore, a Drogheda Comhaltas Céilí will take place this day at the Holy Family Community Centre.
On Fleadh Sunday, the Irish Street Seisiún competition will take place between 2pm and 5pm on Laurence & West Streets Drogheda. Cash prizes of €600 will be split between first, second and third place prize winners, with first place also securing a 30-minute performance spot during the Fleadh this August.
The festivities will draw to a close on Monday with a traditional Irish singing session featuring Noelle Bowe and The Drogheda Singing Circle at Highlanes Gallery, followed by a Traditional Seisiún with Gerry Breen, John O’Reilly and Darragh Ó Héiligh at O’Raghallaighs GAA Club.
To find out more details of time and locations of the events taking place visit https://fleadhcheoil.ie/a- taste-of-the-fleadh-at-st- patricks-festival/
This article was written by Anthony Murphy