The Rocks area of Sydney will be the centrepiece of the city’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The Saint Patrick’s Day Festival, with the theme Back to Our Roots, will kick off with a walking parade through the area on Sunday, March 17, reminiscent of the first Irish community parade.
The parade will kick off at 11am from First Fleet Park and will make its way through the historic area finishing at Dawes Park.
The parade will be family focused, an event spokeswoman, Mary Doherty, said.
“Already applications have been coming in from local dancing schools, mothers groups and sporting clubs. Groups or individuals who want to join the parade can still submit an application on the Sydney Saint Patrick’s Day Festival website,” she said.
The celebration will include a day-long program of activities at Dawes Park starting at 11.30am.
“This year’s festival has something for everyone, young and not so young, Irish, non-Irish and those who just want to join in the craic,” Ms Doherty said. “As always music will be at the centre of the celebrations and this year’s line-up is fantastic.
“There will be live music from favourites such as Strawberries and Cabbage, Blackwater, Chris Harper and The Bottlers and plenty of up and coming acts in the form of buskers and street artists.
“The kids can enjoy dancing, Irish language sessions, cultural entertainment acts, musical performances, prizes for best dressed, crafts, face painting, a tattoo artist, raffles and lots more.”
Approximately 50 Irish nationals will become citizens at a special citizenship ceremony on the day.
A large licensed bar and various stalls will offer everything from food and drinks, to crafts. The party extends from Dawes Park with the entire Rocks area transforming into an Irish village for the day. To add to the celebration, the sails of the Sydney Opera House will be illuminated in green as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening project.
“Now, would you get a better photo opportunity than that?,” Ms Doherty asked. “The Harbour Bridge, a green Opera House and a park full of people being happily Irish!”
The Mercantile Hotel, the iconic Irish pub in The Rocks, will be offering a full Irish breakfast from 7.30am on the day, plus live entertainment.
The Sydney Irish business community will celebrate St Patrick’s Day on Friday March 15.
More than 1,000 revellers are expected at the Lansdowne Club’s annual St Patrick’s Day Lunch at the International Convention Centre with special guest Heather Humphreys TD, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Earlier in the day, the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce will host a St Patrick’s business breakfast at Doltone House at Hyde Park.