The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, Tradfest in Kilkenny and the Limerick International Band Championship are among a host of events set to take place across the country to mark St Patrick's weekend.
As always, the parades will form the centrepiece of festivities on Friday, beginning at noon. Those attending the Dublin procession will have more vantage points than ever given the extended route from Parnell Square through to Kevin Street.
The annual St Patrick’s Day parade in Cork city begins at 1pm, starting from the South Mall, heading towards the Grand Parade, along St Patrick’s Street and finishing at Merchant’s Quay.
Galway will celebrate its 114th instalment of the local parade, led this year by transatlantic adventurer Gavan Hennigan. It starts on Dominick Street at 11.30am before passing through Bridge Street, Shop Street and finishing on Prospect Hill at about 1pm.
Ireland’s largest regional parade in Limerick starts at noon; this year’s theme is “Our stories, this is where we belong”. Elsewhere, the Waterford parade is due to begin at 1pm and will proceed through the Quay and the Mall.
Meanwhile, a host of other events and activities will run across the weekend as part of the extended St Patrick’s Festival in the capital.
Funfairs will be open at Merrion Square and Custom House Quay from Friday to Sunday, and a treasure hunt will start from City Hall on Saturday morning.
A number of guided tours and arts exhibitions have been announced, while the prawn festival in Howth and the Spirit of Dublin Craft and Food Fair at Teeling's Distillery are the main gastronomic attractions of the weekend.
Free family concert
Galway city will host its own free family concert at Eyre Square following the parade on Friday, and a charity cycle which will be launched by guest of honour Sean Kelly has been organised for Sunday.
The Kilkenny Tradfest is expected to draw a large crowd with music and dance sessions across the city until Sunday, while up to 50,000 people are expected to attend the Limerick International Band Championship on Sunday.
Gardaí have warned there will be a “zero tolerance” approach to underage and on-street drinking across all parades and festivals today.
Barrier controls operated by gardaí and Dublin City Council will again be imposed at access points to Temple Bar, where there will be an enhanced police presence to patrol for illegal drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Gardaí have also advised patrons to be aware of their surroundings and belongings as pickpockets often operate on the margins of large public gatherings.
Rolling street closures will affect routes in Dublin up until 6pm on Friday, with areas around Parnell Square, O'Connell Street, Dame Street, Christchurch, Clanbrassil Street, Kevin Street and Stephen's Green primarily affected.