Kilkenny Cats Lead the Way on St. Patrick’s Day 2024


St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated all around the world last weekend, but there was nothing quite like celebrating it in Kilkenny in the heart of Ireland’s ancient east. With its medieval streets and a 900 year old castle, the city filled with warmth, culture, heritage and fun from March 15th to 18th. Kilkenny was entertained with one of its biggest, most animated festivals ever this year along with lively pageantry and performances throughout the city for St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny and Kilkenny Tradfest 2024

Commenting on the phenomenal success of the weekend, Director of Services Kilkenny County Council, Tim Butler said: “With two festivals in one city which included live music acts, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, American Marching Bands, fire shows, fireworks, circus acts, children’s shows, vintage carnival, festival market, workshops and much more, Kilkenny came alive once again to celebrate the creativity and culture that this great City and County has to offer in honour of our nation’s patron saint.”

Across the weekend beating through the heart of medieval city was Kilkenny Tradfest 2024 which ran along side St. Patrick’s Festival saw sell out gigs throughout the city with headliners such as Hothouse Flowers, John Spillane, Iarla Ó Líonaird, Clare Sands, Nell Ní Chróinín, Shaskeen, the Kilfenora and Tulla Céilí Bands, and many more.

The Bulmers Music Trail offered over ninety free gigs across 37 pubs creating an electric atmosphere for visitors who came from far and wide to hop between pubs and join in with the craic agus ceol.

Kilkenny vintner Brendan Treacy commented,

“Our 11th Tradfest has been Kilkenny’s biggest and best yet, with sold out shows in busy venues across the city and the ever popular Bulmers Music Trail which created a pulsing heartbeat of traditional Irish music along the medieval streets.”

The lively showcase in Kilkenny offering the best culture, music, song and dance in this year’s parade was enhanced by special guests that included hurling legend Richie Power as the 2024 Grand Marshal. Richie was escorted by Bóann, the Irish Wolfhound who has also been chosen as the model for Ireland’s new redesigned passport scheduled for introduction in late 2025. To serenade our VIP stand at the parade was the ultra-talented Kilkenny native and Gael Scoil Osraí student, Stevie Mulrooney who gave a stellar performance of ‘Ireland’s Call’

The City also welcomed international visitors who got to experience and enjoy our cultural celebrations. Our special visitors included Ambassador of Kuwait to Ireland, Mohammad Al-Mohammad, visiting dignitaries from Kilkenny’s twin town Formigine, in Italy and Lebanese representatives honouring our troops in the Lebanon. Also walking in the parade was the Carey Family from the US who came to Ireland to trace their roots and take part in Irish traditions.

St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny is supported by Fáilte Ireland (the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland), and was produced, programmed and marketed by Kilkenny County Council, to celebrate the unique arts, Irish music, culture and creativity that thrives throughout Kilkenny City and County. 

Aimee Graham, Officer, Festivals Team at Fáilte Ireland said:

“Fáilte Ireland was pleased to see such a strong display of creativity, arts and culture throughout St. Patrick’s Festival weekend in Kilkenny. The St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny team put together a marvellous programme for visitors from across Ireland and international visitors too which showcased the wonderful arts and culture from talented community groups from throughout the medieval city and county.”


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