'Plan Ahead' For St Patrick's Day Events This Weekend

Belfast City Council has outlined traffic and travel arrangements ahead of this Sunday's St Patrick's Day event in Belfast.

A number of traffic diversions will be in place in and around Belfast city centre. Visitors and participants are advised to plan their journey in advance and leave extra time to travel to and from the city centre.

Motorists can expect some delays and diversions during the SPAR Craic 10K event, organised by Aisling Events, which leaves from City Hall at 9am and ends at Ormeau Park. The route takes in the city centre, as well as Falls Road, Stranmillis Embankment and Ormeau Road from approximately 8am to 11am.

There will also be some disruption along the route of the St Patrick's Day parade, organised by Belfast City Council, which starts from City Hall at 1.30pm and follows a circular route, via Chichester Street, Victoria Street, High Street, Castle Place and Donegall Place, before heading back to City Hall.

Focusing on People, Place and Planet – the key themes in the council's Belfast 2024 programme – the cross-community, multi-cultural parade will feature colourful floats and circus performers, as well as dance troupes, schools, community groups and musicians.

Rolling diversions will be in place from 12.30pm to 3pm on roads and streets that intersect with the parade route.

Closures will be in place at:

• 12.30pm - Donegall Square West

• 12.30pm - College Square East and Wellington Place 

• 12.30pm - High Street (inner), Castle Place, Royal Avenue and Donegall Place

• 12.30pm - Victoria Street 

• 12.40pm - Bridge Street

• 12.50pm - Chichester Street

• 12.50pm - Ann Street

There will also be no on-street parking, including blue badge spaces, from 6am to 3pm along Donegall Place, High Street and Bridge Street.
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Translink will operate a normal service throughout the day on Sunday 17 March, but there may be some diversions while the parade is taking place. For the latest information, check bus stop display screens or visit www.translink.co.uk.

Full details of all road closures and traffic arrangements on St Patrick's Day can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/stpatricks.

This year's St Patrick's Day programme also includes a Music Weekend – three days of concerts, céilís, displays, taster sessions and workshops in venues across the city centre, delivered with Belfast TradFest, and running from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 March.

Enjoy free traditional music, song and dance, bagpipes, Highland dancers, Irish dancing and bodhrán circles, alongside food stalls, in Cathedral Gardens from 12pm daily, alongside a family-friendly céilí at The MAC and a packed live music schedule on the acoustic stage in St Anne's Square.

There will be several ticketed performances too, including Anúna in Belfast Cathedral on Friday 15 March, a Kiddy Céili at Belfast Cathedral on Saturday 16 March as part of Belfast Children's Festival, a gala concert with Frankie Gavin and Dé Dannan at Ulster Hall on the same evening and a finale event with Stockton's Wing and John Spillane at The MAC Belfast on Sunday 17 March.

2 Royal Avenue – the city's cultural hub – is also hosting free activities for families on Sunday 17 March, including art workshops, dance performances, music and a games area, and there will be lunchtime performances from musicians from Ards Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann at St George's Market on both Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March.

Free music performances, as part of Féile an Phobail's Trad Trail, also continue in bars, restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions across the city until Sunday 17 March.

For more info on all St Patrick's Day events, including booking info for ticketed performances, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/stpatricks

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