Brisbane St Patrick's parade celebrates 30 years

Paddyfest at Eagle Farm Racecourse is one of a range of St Patrick’s Day events planned for Brisbane.

Paddyfest at Eagle Farm Racecourse is one of a range of St Patrick’s Day events planned for Brisbane.

The Irish will march through Brisbane city for the 30th time this year in a parade that begins and ends outside the city’s Botanic Gardens.

The event attracted more than 30,000 onlookers last year as the city’s GAA teams, Irish groups and dancing academies presented their colourful floats or took part in walking groups.

The parade starts at 10.30am on Saturday March 16 but there will be stalls and entertainment both before the parade as people congregate and afterwards when everyone returns after the parade.

Saturday March 16 is also the date for Paddyfest at Eagle Farm Racecourse where the full day of entertainment will include indie rock four piece Kingswood; Brisbane-based Tullamore Tree; Tartan Shamrock who go between traditional Irish and classic Aussie rock; singer-songwriter Shanon Watkins; City of Brisbane Pipe Band; Walker’s Irish Dancers and Leprechaun DJ.

The programme will also include entertainment for kids of all ages, including a petting zoo, and at 7pm, the festival will wow with a big Irish-themed laser, lights and live DJ spectacular. This epic show will be a huge hit with the kids so be sure to stick around for the show!

The build up to Brisbane’s St Patrick’s Day festivities begins well before the big weekend with the Brisbane Irish Festival Ball taking place at the Hilton Hotel in the city on March 9. Hosted by the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland, this is a fundraising event for the association as well as a celebration. Some lucky person will win $15,000 worth of gold bullion in the Luck of the Irish Art Union.

The Queensland Gaelic Football and Hurling Association hold its Family Fun Day on March 10 at Gaelic Park, Willawong. Admission is free for children and among the entertainment on offer will be novelty races, live Irish music, Queensland Irish Association Pipe Band, Irish dancing, Gaelic sports exhibitions, tug-o-war as well as a licensed bar and food available all day.

The Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce will hold its St Patrick’s corporate lunch at the Sky Room on March 15 from 12pm.

Hosted by well-known Brisbane journalist and Walkley Award winner, Patrick Condren, Dublin comedian Ian Coppinger will provide the laughs.

Anyone who wants to see some elite Irish dancing accompanied by ballads can seek out the touring Heart of Ireland show which plays Nambour on March 15, The Star on the Gold Coast on St, Patricks’ eve, March 16 and Chermside in Brisbane on St. Patrick’s Day itself. Choreographed by a two time world champion dancer, every member of the Heart of Ireland troupe is a world championship finalist.

The city’s Irish pubs are also planning major celebartions.

Finn McCool’s Irish bar in Fortitude Valley takes over Brunswick Street Mall on St Patrick’s Day with an extended licensed area and live entertainment that includes Barley Shakes, The Gathering, The Munster Bucks, Queensland Irish Pipe Band, Limerick and Scoil Ard Rince Irish dancers.