posted by Guest blogger - Gary Davis | 0 Comments
Pleased to report that St. Patrick's day in Dublin itself is all you'd imagine (and wish) it to be. Everyone becomes or feels Irish for the day with a vibrant sea of tricolours, and an incredibly varied mix of ethnicities and nationalities.
Both young and old, locals and tourists alike all made the effort to dress up yesterday. There were faces painted with shamrocks, some entirely green like the incredible Hulk, Finnegan hats, scarves, and even all-in-one green lycra one-piece creations.
Thanks to Hostelworld.com, we had grandstand tickets for the midday parade yesterday with an unrivalled view on Westmoreland Street, 50 metres south of the river. 650,000 people turned out to watch the parade and 3,000 performers passed by. They marched in unison, serenaded the masses and more as they adorned their wonderfully creative and imaginative floats during the two-hour 3km procession.
The parade, now in its 15th year, included the talented, serious and bizarre. We were really impressed with the North Carolina marching band, complete with 193 members, along with the high standards shown by the local marching set. The theme of the parade was 'Extraordinary World', which was encapsulated by brazen performers aided with life-sized spoons chasing brave, if broken, egg-shell clad companions. Groups from across the globe performed at the parade including some from Galicia, Brittany, India, Louisiana, England, Austria, Scotland and many more.
Post-parade, the streets of Temple Bar quickly filled, an entire sea of verdant green dominating the cobbled promenade. Street performers entertained, while others stoked the feel-good atmosphere with spontaneous song and dance.
We strolled along Grafton Street, soaked up the mood in St. Stephen's Green and headed to the recommended Kehoe's pub, then O'Neills (not the UK chain), and more to sink even more Guinness. The streets were pedestrianised for most of the day and remained jam-packed but with a contented air to proceedings. After yesterday evening's frivolities, I can particularly recommend VAT bar, just off of Temple Bar.
We retired in the early hours with fond memories of the day and with further proof that the Irish certainly know how to drink while retaining their good-humoured nature and ability to banter.
There’s no better place to spend St. Patrick's Day than Dublin – I recommend that you start booking your flights and accommodation well in advance for next year!
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