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St Patrick's Day is one of those events that is celebrated pretty much everywhere in the world, a somewhat unique situation for the patron saint of such a small island nation, and testament to the travelling the Irish people have taken part in across the centuries.
In the US in particular the occasion is marked with spectacular parades, in New York, Boston and Chicago in particular the streets are filled with Guinness-fuelled locals gathering to watch the green and white clad participants, but the main and iconic event remains the Dublin parade, which is actually part of a greater St Patrick's Festival, a whole series of events that also includes street performances, live music, boat races, 5k run, funfairs and of course the beer village.
The parade starts at 12 noon and covers most of the city's major landmarks along the route, but there will be huge crowds (typically in excess of 500,000) so make sure you get there in plenty of time to secure yourself a decent vantage point.
Dublin is a special city to visit at any time, with some of the friendliest people you'll find anywhere in the world and it's a place I've been to many times myself, but I've yet to manage to coincide a visit with St Patrick's Day so that's something that remains very much on the bucket list.
The St Patrick's Day parade is part of a wider festival of events throughout Dublin from the 16th-19th March.
This year the local parade bands will be joined by guests from America, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Bahamas.
The parade covers a total distance on 2.km. It starts at Parnell Square in the city centre, then proceeds through the city streets as follows:
O'Connell Street (the east side of the street, this is a change for 2017)
Cross the O'Connell bridge over the River Liffey
Trinity College at College Green
Lord Edward Street
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Kevin Street (new viewing areas for the first time as part of an extended parade route)
Other landmarks passed along the parade route include Dublin Castle and City Hall.
There will be local TV coverage of the event and we'll be looking out to see if any of this is picked up online.
Last year the parade was covered live by RTE, who also now have an online streaming option, so we would expect to see the same again for 2017. Coverage was from 12.15pm:
There is coverage on radio and a selection of webcams on Live Ireland:
See live coverage of all the top St Patrick's Day parades on our live streaming page: St Patrick's Day live
If you're in Dublin for the St Patrick's Festival, or any of The Gathering events taking place throughout the year, then you'll need to be aware that hotel prices tend to rise quite sharply over the festival period, so advance booklng is well advised. You can search and check availability for local hotels here.
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