THE MANCHESTER Irish Festival returns this year from Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 19 with various festivities to celebrate Irish culture and remember St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints.

From the annual Irish market held in Albert Square to Irish themed nights in local pubs, Manchester is packed with events for people celebrating their Irish roots or even for those just wanting to have a good old jig and a Guinness with the Irish folk.

Last Sunday (March 12) marked Manchester’s St Patrick’s Day parade. This popular event has been held in Manchester for almost three decades and this year 40,000 people turned out to line the route of the parade.  

The parade began at the Irish World Heritage Centre at 12pm and made its way to Albert Square for the final destination at the Irish market around 1pm.

The theme of this year’s parade was ‘County Pride’. This celebrated the likes of James Joyce of Dublin Antrim’s Giants Causeway, Galway Bay and the Rose of Tralee as the 27th St Patrick’s Parade explored the heritage and roots of the 32 counties of Ireland.

From green and gold floats, Irish dancers and marching bands, this year’s parade seemed to be bigger and better than ever before.

After the parade, the Manchester Irish Festival market provided live music with marquees selling everything from Irish food and drink, music, DVDs and books to leprechaun hats and shamrock souvenirs.

This map shows the various places where events are being held across the Manchester Irish Festival this year.

Ian Buckley, 20, from Kilkenny, Ireland, attended the Manchester Irish Festival on Sunday.

He said: “The festival helps to bring the Irish community together to celebrate cultural qualities.

“The atmosphere was electric, everyone was dancing and singing and it felt like home.”

“I also attended last year and I consider it to be one of the best days/nights spent in Manchester and would rate it better than events at home,” said Ian.

Across the Festival, there were various bars selling traditional Irish Guinness’ and a Twitter poll was created to find out who served the best pint of Guinness in Manchester.

To find out more about the events held for the Manchester Irish Festival this year visit

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