Logo name authorBy Mark Keane

2016 is to be a seminal year for Ireland with the celebration of “Ireland 2016”, a centenary programme to remember and reflect on 1916, as well as re-imagining our future. The St. Patrick’s Festival from 17th-20th of March is an official partner for the event, and will be showcasing all that is great about Ireland. This year’s parade looks to the future with a theme of “Imagine If” and is the culmination of a creative trilogy that previously looked at the past and present.

As we all know, St. Patrick’s Day is a massive worldwide attraction. It seems every country has their own St. Patrick’s Day festival, with Americans in particular embracing it. The day attracts more than 100,000 overseas visitors and generates around 73 million revenue for the country. If you are one of those lucky 100,000 who are going to make the trip over, we will try break down what to expect for a traditional taste of Ireland.

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If you’re expecting when you land on Irish soil, to be in a real life version of John Wayne’s “The Quiet Man”, Tom Cruise’s “Far and Away”, or the Hollywood abominations that are “P.S. I Love You” and “Leap Year”, you’re in for a surprise. Irish people won’t be walking around in Aran sweaters and Paddy/flat caps saying “Top of the morning to you”. We’ll admit that there is usually a pinch of truth to stereotypes, and if you go to some of the more rural parts of Ireland you may actually experience the aforementioned, but not so much in Dublin. What food, drink and cultural options await you?

The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival takes place in the beautiful village of Howth from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th. Restaurants, bars and cafes will be celebrating the festival by hosting a variety of amazing food experiences. You will be able to chow down on some of the freshest and tastiest seafood that Ireland has to offer, no doubt you will eat your weight in prawns by the end of the weekend! There will also be music and entertainment playing as you walk along the stunning Howth pier.

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If you’re looking for a bit of culture after visiting Howth, “I love my city” will host a series of intimate cultural events inside some of Dublin’s most beautiful and historic venues and spaces. The Moth StorySLAM will be an open mic storytelling competition, while “look-see RUN” will show you Dublin through the eyes of Dublin’s youth, and “The children’s soapbox” will have children exploring their hopes and dreams for Ireland by turning it into a performance. For those looking to find the elixir of long life, the documentary “Older than Ireland” tells the amazing story of 30 Irish centenarians. Find out what tricks and tips have helped them live to such an old age!

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All rights reserved

You would be amiss if you didn’t try some of Ireland’s renowned beers and whiskies during St. Patrick’s Day. The RDS will be hosting an Irish craft beer and whiskey village from Wednesday 16th to Saturday 19th. Tickets will cost 10 euro’s, there will also be artisan food and entertainment. Luckily it will be hosted indoors to avoid the inevitable bad weather!

For more details on the St. Patrick’s Festival you can check out their website here, download the app to your phone, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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