St Patrick's Day returns to Belfast 'bigger and better than ever'

A "reimagined", 11-day festival will run from 10 to 20 March this year. Credit: Belfast City Council

St Patrick's Day in Belfast is set to be "bigger and better than ever", with a city-wide celebration to mark the return of the event after a two-year absence.

The traditional parade hasn't been able to take place in recent times due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Belfast City Council has now announced details of a "reimagined", 11-day festival running from 10 to 20 March with free-to-attend events for all ages.

Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl says: “After two years of not being able to host our usual St Patrick’s Day event, I am really thrilled that it is back this year, bigger and better than ever."

How will Belfast mark St Patrick's Day?

Belfast City Council says it has awarded creative development funding to four organisations to deliver a "new-look celebration".

Music will play a major role this year, with a Féile Trad Trail running from 10 March, during which popular bars, restaurants, hotels and visitor spots throughout the Gaeltacht Quarter and city centre come alive with traditional Irish music.

A free, family-friendly St Patrick’s Eve concert will be held at Custom House Square on 16 March from 5pm to 9pm, delivered by The Duncairn Centre and Arts Council NI.

The St Patrick's Day parade on 17 March by Beat Carnival will be a "colourful, carnival pageant of costume, music, dance, circus and theatrical performance".

St George’s Market will also be getting in on the craic, with traditional music performances at the market each day from 18 to 20 March.

Ms Nicholl added: "It’s great to have the input of community organisations too to help make this a city-wide celebration that will appeal to a wide range of people, young and old, from all corners of our city, with plenty of free activities happening day and night across the 11 days."