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Hive of colourful activity planned for city’s St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations

7 February 2024

Derry city centre will come alive this St Patrick’s Day as Derry City and Strabane District Council this week launched an action packed programme of music, dance, food and folklore for its Spring Carnival celebrations.

The ‘Out of the Darkness Into the Light’ themed event will celebrate the arrival of spring in all its colourful splendour with entertainment and activity planned for Guildhall Square, the Peace Garden and the Craft Village.

The centrepiece event will once again be the North West Carnival Initiative’s renound Spring Carnival Parade which will feature flamboyant performances from local dance groups, sports clubs and community organisations.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Patricia Logue, launched the event this week in Brooke Park.

“As the days get longer and brighter and colour returns to our green spaces, excitement is building for our first major event of 2024 – our St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival celebrations!

“Our Festival and Events Team are planning activity all around the city centre and I can’t wait to sample the sights and sounds and join the hundreds of performers who will take part in the parade through the city centre.

“The Out of the Darkness Into the Light theme represents the new beginnings that Spring brings and is a celebration of the return of brighter and more colourful days.

“There’s some brilliant activity and entertainment planned all around the city centre so I look forward to seeing you all on St Patrick’s Day!”

Sunday March 17th is also the flag day for the Mayor’s chosen charities for her year in office, the Ryan McBride Foundation and the Foyle Hospice, and collectors will be around the city centre on the day asking for people to donate what they can.

The Main Stage at Guildhall Square will host live music from 1pm – 6pm featuring some of the best local musicians in the city’s thriving music scene, from soulful ballads, to foot stomping jigs people can experience the diverse musical tapestry that defines the city while inside the Guildhall, the Main Hall will host a traditional Irish music and ceili dance session.

Alongside the stage, the Legenderry Delights food stalls from midday until 6pm will offer Irish inspired culinary delights from some of our finest Legenderry traders including Lo&Slo, Doherty’s Meats and La Tia Juanas.

The Bounce Festival in the Peace Garden from 1pm – 6pm will invite you to shake off the winter blues and bounce into Spring with In Your Space Circus featuring a stretch tent, circus skills workshops, acrobatic and parkour performances and interactive performers.

The Craft Village will also come alive with the thrilling beats of live traditional music and the infectious energy of Irish dancing.

Festival and Events Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jacqueline Whoriskey, encouraged families to access the programme now and plan their experience.

“We are delighted and proud to be working with our community partners to deliver a packed programme of events across the city centre for our Spring Carnival St Patrick’s Day celebrations,” she said.

“The parade through the city centre starts at Bishop Street at 3pm but we have entertainment planned all over the city centre from 1pm to 6pm so we’d urge people to access the programme now at and come and join us on Sunday March 17th for a day of music, dance and folklore.”

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