Details of the St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations in Derry have been unveiled with an action packed weekend of entertainment on 17 and 18 March for all the family that includes, music, dance, food and culture.

The route of this year’s Carnival parade on Saturday 17 March has changed and will depart from Bishop Street car park at 2pm when the colourful spectacle of carnival participants will go through the city centre much to the delight of spectators.

The new route will see the parade depart Bishop Street car park, making its way toward the Diamond and down Shipquay Street towards Harbour Square Roundabout before heading up Custom House Street across Waterloo Place and down Strand Road to finish up at the Strand Road Carpark at around 3.30pm.

Welcoming the new route, the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Maoliosa McHugh said he was confident it made the event more accessible for the public.
“I am delighted that the Derry carnival parade on St Patrick’s Day will be taking place through the city centre and through areas such as Shipquay Street and Waterloo Place. Not only will it make it accessible to more people but it will bring atmosphere and colour to the city centre and help create a real festive spirit for St Patrick’s Day,” he said.

The theme for this year’s carnival parade is Spring is Sprung with a strong emphasis on the Spring goddess of growth and flowering. Up to 600 participants from local schools, youth clubs, community groups and arts and cultural organisations are expected to take part in the parade that will feature pageant pieces created by the North West Carnival Initiative, Greater Shantallow Community Arts, In Your Space Circus and Bluebell Arts Project.

Mayor McHugh says he is really looking forward to the parade and the range of events for everyone to enjoy over the weekend including the LegenDerry Food Festival in Guildhall Square, musical performances, street theatre and family activities, and the Ubuntu Global Festival.

“Derry is going to be a hive of activity over St Patrick’s weekend with something for every member of the family to come along and be part of," he added.

"In addition to a real carnival atmosphere there is a strong focus on celebrating our diverse multi-cultures and making the event accessible and inclusive to everyone. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes getting ready for the event and I am confident it will be a huge success for everyone involved.”

Among the highlights on St Patrick’s Day itself in addition to the parade will be the live musical performances on the Spring Stage at Guildhall Street with local musical acts, Dara, CCÉ Baile na gCailleach, Voices of the Foyle Choir and Suil.

The Mayor also will host a series of events in the Craft Village throughout the day including live traditional music and dancing, kids’ activities and crafts.

A key element of this year’s celebrations is the number of events being organised by organisations across the city including a St Patrick’s Day Road Race organised by the Foyle Hospice, a Family Dun Day at an Culturlann, Irish music and dance at Foyleside Shopping Centre, a Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication by the Apprentice Boys at the St Columb’s Cathedral, to name but a few.

For a full listing of what is happening log on to www.derrystrabane.com/springcarnival

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