St Patrick’s Day: Virtual events taking place at home and abroad

About 670 sites in 66 countries will take part in the largest Global Greening event

Traditional St Patrick’s Day events have largely been cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, there are still some virtual celebrations taking place across Ireland and the world.


Dublin: There will be no St Patrick's Festival parade in Dublin this year, however, there will be a #RTÉVirtualParade in conjunction with the festival. Children will drive their toy cars and tractors around their gardens. Many events will be broadcast on the St Patrick's Festival website. It will culminate in a St Patrick's Night trad set featuring a who's who of traditional musicians including Lisa O'Neill, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Seamus and Ronan Ó Flatharta, Diarmuid and Brian Mac Gloin, Cormac Begley, Ronan O' Snodaigh and Myles O' Reilly starting at 8pm on the St Patrick's Festival website.

The Green Roots Project is encouraging children to do something green for St Patrick's Day whether it is planting a a tree, picking up rubbish or building a bug hotel.

Cork: Meitheal is the theme of the festival this year and many of the city's top landmarks have been lit up in green for the event. Two of Cork city's top music venues, The White Horse and Coughlans, will host an online music special featuring John Spillane, the Ceili Allstars, Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Emerald On Ivory, Oisín Morrison and The Lee Valley String Band. The show will air on St Patrick's Day at 5pm on, and


Galway: The fountain in Galway city will turn green.

Mayo: The Swinford Chats podcast with Tommy Stenson and Cathal Kelly will broadcast a two-hour special live stream on Facebook and YouTube this Tuesday evening at 8pm GMT. Hollywood actress and comedian Jane Lynch – known for her role as Sue Sylvester in Glee – will be celebrating her Swinford roots.

Belfast: A St Patrick's Day live music event begins at 5pm with Irish folk and trad music from The Cavemen, followed at 7pm by Brendan Quinn, Robbie Walsh and Patrick O'Hare, followed by the Mac Corraidh music family at 8pm, and finally at 9pm The Rapparees. It can be accessed at the Virtual Féile.


London: London Irish Centre will provide a virtual event hosted by Angela Scanlon and friends from 4pm on St Patrick's Day. The theme for the event is London Le Chéile #LondonTogether, which captures the spirit shown by Irish in London during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Birmingham: Birmingham St Patrick's Festival (the largest event in the UK) is doing a week-long series of streams, including highlights from previous parades (with Sharon Shannon and Finbar Furey), plus a tribute to those who've died in the past year including 14 members of the Birmingham Irish Association's Tuesday Club.


New York: The world's oldest St Patrick's Day parade will take place this year, but with only a small number of people at an undisclosed time to ensure that the continuity of the parade, which dates back to 1762, is maintained. Parades in all the major US cities have been cancelled for a second year due to the pandemic. The St Patrick's Day parade in St James, Long Island, will be held in cars while residents in Hilton Head, South Carolina, will hold a boat parade on Sunday. St Patrick's Day organisers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, plan to hold a rescheduled parade in September this year if the US completes its vaccination programme.


Stockholm: Swedish Irish Society will feature a talk with author and former member of Ireland's Council of State Ruairí McKiernan from 6pm-7pm GMT on Tuesday, March 16th. Tickets available here.

Auckland: New Zealand's largest city will be one of the few places in the world to hold St Patrick's Day parades this year, which are due to take place on Saturday.

Sydney: Sydney will be the envy of the world on St Patrick's Day. There will be no parade due to Covid-19 restrictions, but there will be a family event on Sunday, March 21st, at The Rocks in Sydney Harbour near the iconic bridge.

International: This year will be the biggest Global Greening event with about 670 sites in 66 countries taking part. From Rome to Rio, London to Las Vegas, a host of famous buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green over the coming days.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times