London's St Patrick's Day Parade And Festival 2024: When, Where And How To Get Involved

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London's St Patrick's Day Parade And Festival 2024: When, Where And How To Get Involved
St Patrick's Day Parade London: a band of pipers marching through the streets as part of the St Paddy's festival
London's St Patrick's Parade follows a 1.5 mile route. Photo: aurélien via creative commons

St Patrick's Day is around the corner, and London is once again hosting a big St Patrick's Day Parade and Festival to celebrate Ireland's national saint. It takes place across central London and spills into Trafalgar Square.

When and where is London's St Patrick's Day parade 2024?

Happily, St Patrick's Day itself falls on a Sunday this year, so the event takes place on Sunday 17 March 2024. The festivities start at 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 2024?

A women wearing shamrock glasses, green fluffy hat, and feather boa in the colours of the Irish flag at the London St Patrick's Day Parade
London knows how to throw a St Patrick's Day celebration! Photo: aurélien via creative commons

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.

For 2024, Irish drag queen and activist Panti Bliss is Grand Marshal of the St Patrick’s Day parade. In previous years, there has been a Giant St Patrick, a larger-than-life mechanical version of the saint. Keep an eye on the St Patrick's Festival website for full details of the 2024 line-up.

What's happening in Trafalgar Square for St Patrick's Day 2024?

St Patrick's Day in London: People wearing green smiling and taking part in the St Patrick's day parade
Hope you like green. Image: Shutterstock

Festivities take place at the end of the parade route in Trafalgar Square all afternoon, hosted in partnership with the London Irish Centre. Entry is free, with live music, Irish dancing, and film screenings, including plenty to keep younger visitors happy. Highlights include:

  • Traditional music from Biird and Bodhrán player, Ruari Glasheen
  • Irish music with a bhangra twist from the band Jiggy
  • Contemporary music from Kestine and folk singer Laura Elizabeth Hughes
  • Performances by the Celtic Youth Orchestra
  • Traditional Irish dancing from the Maguire O'Shea Academy of Irish Dance

Celebrity chef Anna Haugh is giving a cookery demonstration and hosting a Q&A so you can learn how to create traditional Irish dishes at home.

It all culminates in a grand singalong finale — a good excuse to lubricate your pipes with a Guinness or two.

A large puppet of St Patrick in the St Patrick's Day Parade in London
St Patrick himself makes an appearance in the London St Patrick's Day Parade. Photo: garryknight via creative commons

Other St Patrick's Day 2024 events in London

The parade and festival is just a small part of London's St Patrick's Day celebrations. 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.

Last Updated 26 February 2024

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