St Patricks Festival Kilkenny | Kilkenny Tourism

St Patricks Festival Kilkenny


Last Thursday, Kilkenny launched its annual, multidisciplinary and well loved TradFest, taking place across the City and County from March 14th – 17th. Coinciding with our National holiday St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, Tradfest offers a mix of music, dance, theatre and family activities.

Tradfest Kilkenny

In addition to the stellar lineup of music events, many of which are free, this year’s programme puts the workshop centre stage. Some of the greatest traditional music talents will share their insights and skills with aspiring musicians in a series of workshops for fiddlers, singers, pipers, sean nos dancers and there’s a special session for post-primary students. Cartoon Saloon’s Sean McCarron joins singer Nell NiChronin to present a workshop for the over 9s exploring animation and music.

A key feature of the TradFest programme builds upon the success of previous years’ collaborations, bringing together the old and new in exciting partnerships to present concerts, talks, showcases and interviews. This series celebrates the unexpected resonances between traditional Irish music and electronica, jazz, Turkish folk music and even cuisine, in a unique dinner concert in Anocht restaurant featuring Lumiere.

Starting off the family activities for the weekend will be a free concert on Saturday 14th from Seo Linn in McDonagh Junction. On Sunday 15th and Tuesday 17th, the same venue hosts a free Hooley in which all comers, young and old are invited to dust off the old ceili dancing shoes and join in a Ballai Luimnigh or Siege of Ennis. Two evening ceilis will take place in the Ormonde Hotel and the Springhill Court Hotel on the evenings of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th respectively.

At the centre of the TradFest programme is the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, which takes place on Tuesday 17th leaving from St. John’s Church at 1pm . This year, to show our appreciation for shining the World Movie spotlight on Kilkenny, the parade will be led by Grand Marshalls, Tomm Moore and Paul Young of Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon , just returned from the 87th Academy Awards where their animated feature, Song of the Sea was nominated for an Oscar.

Taking to the stage for a free family concert in Castle Park following the Parade, traditional music supremos Sharon Shannon and Steve Cooney will entertain paradegoers and out on the Parade, a Vintage Fairground and Drum Circle will add to the day’s festivities. For the full programme, see