The Best Street Festivals in Dublin

March 18, 2013 by

Best Of Lists, Festivals & Events, Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Uniquely Dublin

Photo courtesy of Uggboy via Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Uggboy via Flickr.

From riotous pub-crawls to a packed calendar of city festivals, Dublin knows a thing or two about how to throw a party. Vibrant parades, talented buskers and an endless supply of Guinness are on the agenda at the city’s annual street festivals – here’s the lowdown on the best street festivals in Dublin.

1. St Patrick’s Day

One of the biggest events of the year, Ireland’s national celebration of its patron saint brings 5 days of festivities to the capital. Street theatre, performances and live music take over the lively Temple Bar District and literature, comedy and film events are held at venues all over the city. The historic People’s and Festival Parade is the main event – a flamboyant march through Dublin that doubles up as a sightseeing tour, passing by the GPO, Trinity College, Dublin Castle and City Hall. Thousands of revelers join the march, stomping the 2.6km route ahead of a dazzling procession of floats, marching bands and dancing troupes. That’s not all – a funfair, the Irish Craft Beer Festival, a giant Ceilidh (traditional Irish street party) on St Stephen’s Green and the Big Day Out Street Carnival are also held during the 5-day festival.

2. Chinese New Year

New Year celebrations aren’t quite over yet – there’s still the mammoth festivities thrown in honor of the Chinese New Year (held February 10th in 2013). A huge Chinese carnival takes over the city streets on the big day, with elaborate parades and street performances featuring Chinese dancers, marching bands and a giant displays of traditional Chinese lanterns.

3. Street Performance World Championships

Renowned for its world-class buskers and inventive street entertainers, it seems fitting that Dublin would host the Street Performance World Championships. The free summer festival, held in Merrion Square, offers a jam-packed weekend of spectacles as the world’s most talented performers bring an eclectic blend of street entertainment to the city streets. Expect a dazzling array of jugglers, magicians, break dancers, contortionists and acrobats competing for the world champion title.

4. Dublin Pride

Break out the rainbow flags and sequined party dresses because the Dublin Pride festival will be back in town this June. The weeklong festival celebrates the country’s LGBT community in typically flamboyant style, culminating in the enormous Dublin Pride Parade, starting out from the Garden Of Remembrance on the final day – a parade second in size only to the St Patrick’s Day parade. Anyone can join the parade but just make sure you heed the dress code – the brighter, crazier and more sparkly the better!

5. Bloomsday

Each June 16th Dublin’s most famous literary legend, James Joyce, becomes the focal point of Bloomsday, named after the famous protagonist Leopold Bloom from Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. A glorious revival of the book takes place around the city, with the annual Bloomsday Walk seeing hundreds of literary enthusiasts take to the street, many in Ulysses-themed Edwardian costumes, following scenes from the novel around the city before ending at the famous Davy Byrne’s pub. Except a range of events to take place around the city including Irish music concerts, book readings and performances.

- Zoe Smith

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