The annual St Patrick’s Day parade has been cancelled for the second year in a row, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
In a statement on Wednesday, the organisers of the festival said while it is not possible to “gather on the streets” for the traditional St Patrick’s Day parade on March 17th, they are “ reimagining how we bring to life the heart and soul of the national parade”.
However, revellers will be able to enjoy an online festival on a special tv channel called SPF TV.
The new online festival, which will run from March 12th to March 17th, will include marching bands, pageantry and ceremony, allowing audiences to “participate virtually and enjoy safely from their homes until we can come together again”.
"A rich and dynamic programme of festival events, created by hundreds of artists, musicians, performers, makers, creators, arts and live events workers and community organisations across Ireland, will run on the St Patrick's Festival TV online channel over six days and nights, marking our national day and offering a joyous and uplifting celebration of Ireland's contemporary culture and traditional heritage," the statement said.
“Through SPF TV, the world is invited to take a front row seat at St. Patrick’s Festival 2021, connecting our family of 80 million across the globe through music, theatre, art, performance, poetry, storytelling, traditional arts, tours, street and building lighting and art installations and much more.”
The organisers said they were partnering with RTÉ in developing the successful #RTÉVirtualParade initiative, and will be announcing details of this in the coming weeks.
Details on St Patrick’s Festival 2021, SPF TV and RTÉ / SPF Virtual Parade will be announced over the coming weeks, the organisers added.