St Patrick's Day is around the corner, and London hosts a big parade to celebrate Ireland's national saint, taking place across central London and into Trafalgar Square.
When and where is London's St Patrick's Day parade 2023?
Sunday 12 March. The festivities usually start around 12pm and wind up around 6pm. The parade begins at Hyde Park Corner, travelling through Piccadilly, St James's Street, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street and Whitehall, culminating in Trafalgar Square, where there's lots going on.
Who's in the St Patrick's Day parade?
50,000 people usually line the 1.5 mile route down to Trafalgar Square to admire elaborate floats, marching bands, sports clubs and Irish dancing schools from across the UK, Ireland and the USA.
In 2022, 11 Grand Marshals were selected, all Irish, and all representatives from the NHS, TfL, Metropolitan Police and London Fire Servic. There was also a Giant St Patrick, a larger-than-life mechanical version of the saint. Keep an eye on the St Patrick's Festival website for details of the 2023 line-up when it's announced.
What's happening in Trafalgar Square?
Festivities take place at the end of the parade route in Trafalgar Square all afternoon, hosted in partnership with the London Irish Centre. Live music, spoken word, Irish dancing, and Irish film screenings usually feature, with storytelling, face painting and children's films to keep younger visitors happy.
Other St Patrick's Day events in London
The parade and festival is just a small part of London's St Patrick's Day celebrations. Other events on the 'official' programme include a family Céilí at London Irish Centre on Saturday 18 March, and live music by Paddy Casey the following weekend.
Unofficially, plenty of other organisations and venues hop on the emerald green bandwagon, organising their own St Patrick's Day events and celebrations, from comedy to cabaret to cheesy club nights. Oh, and if it's Irish pubs you're after, here's our guide.