St. Patricks Day in Dublin – 10 spectacular events

With St. Patrick’s Day less than a month away, it may be time to start making some serious plans. If you have tired of drinking stale green beer and attending arbitrary parades that rarely coincide with the real St. Patty’s Day, then maybe it is time to celebrate the Irish festival in the land where it all began – Ireland.

In a country with pubs older than the Magna Carta, history abounds. You come to Ireland for this history, and perhaps the Guinness. Beyond these draws though, the kindness, spirit, and wit of the Irish is what truly sets Ireland apart. What better way to take in St. Patrick’s Day than with some gregarious locals in the Irish capital of Dublin?

Since Ireland was hit with a particularly nasty strain of the financial crisis, great deals are to be had. You can rent a car and take to the countryside for less than 10 Euros per day. Posh hotels like the Merrion that used to cost fortunes can now be had for just a hair over one-hundred US dollars per night. Round-trip flights from major U.S. travel hubs hover around $600. If ever a time existed to visit the Emerald Isle, that time is now.Dublin throws an amazing party for St. Patricks Day with events catering to both the boozy crowd and culture seeking revelers. The festivities last from March 16 to March 20, with the big parade on March 17. You can view the events program at the St. Patrick’s Festival website, but ten of the highlights include:

1. In the footsteps of St. Patrick walking tour – walking tour of Dublin based on St. Patrick, with the tour comes discounted entry into the Guinness Storehouse – free if your name is Patrick

2. Kilfenora Ceili Band – a 100 year old traveling Irish dance band

3. CEOL St. Patrick’s Day Eve – several well known Irish musicians perform on Vicar Street

4. Ganon Cup University Boat Race – a 60 year old tradition pits University College Dublin against Trinity College Dublin on a boat race down the River Liffey

5. St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Ireland’s top performance acts line the streets in an unforgettable parade

6. City at Play Funfairs – parts of Dublin are turned into Carnival fairgrounds

7. Text in the city – the audience texts topics to the Irish comedians onstage that perform hilarious skits similar to “Whose Line is it Anyways”

8. Between the Canals Premiere – movie premiere for a “gritty energetic urban tale”

9. Sharon Shannon – One of Ireland’s top musicians performs at the National Concert Hall

10. The Commitments 20th Anniversary Reunion Concert – the stars of the 1991 Irish film – The Commitments, will be performing a full concert together for the first time ever, at the O2.

flickr images via Infomatique