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Giant human shamrock in Trafalgar Square marks St Patrick’s Day 2019

A giant shamrock created by dancers and members of the Irish community in London appeared in Trafalgar Square this week, ahead of the capital’s weekend of St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The PC Agency worked with Tourism Ireland to organise the pop-up stunt designed to demonstrate that ‘London is Open for St Patrick’s Day’ – and make onlookers smile. More than 200 people and a dog performed a ceilidh before moving into formation as a giant shamrock in Trafalgar Square.

Spanning three days, from Friday 15 March to Sunday 17 March, London’s St Patrick’s Day Festival 2019 brings together Londoners and visitors to the capital to celebrate the contribution Irish people have made to the city.

Julie Wakley, Tourism Ireland – Head of GB, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to support the St. Patrick’s Festival in London, which is a celebration of the unique and close relationship shared between Great Britain and Ireland. This year, we’re inviting people to fill their hearts with Ireland with the amazing Irish food, music and cultural activities that are part of the Mayor of London’s St. Patrick’s Festival, or even better they can take a flight or ferry and experience it for themselves on the island of Ireland itself.”

The festival in London will culminate on Sunday with the world-renowned St Patrick’s Day parade, which will be led by this year’s Grand Marshal, actor James Nesbitt. Now in its 17th year, the parade attracts more than 50,000 people for a colourful procession of Irish marching bands from the UK, US and Ireland, energetic dance troupes and spectacular pageantry.

The parade ends at Trafalgar Square where there will be a world-class line-up of Irish culture and music on the main stage, compered by RTE and BBC TV presenter Angela Scanlon. Visitors to the square will see a showcase of London Irish talent, a special family zone with games, arts and crafts and walkabout performances based on mythical stories from Ireland and the best of Irish fare with fresh produce and traditional dishes.

Events across the three days also include an Irish Film Festival running at Regent’s Street Cinema, featuring a programme inspired by the theme #LondonisOpen. On Saturday bands and artists from the Irish community will be performing and busking at London Underground stations, as well as the Camden Market Music Trail.

Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, said: “The Irish community has done so much to enrich London over many generations, making our capital a livelier, warmer and more vibrant place to live, work and visit. Our St Patrick’s Day celebrations are for everyone – bring our city together to demonstrate that London is Open to all people and all communities.”

How to join the St Patrick’s Day Parade

Parade Route: From 12 noon – Hyde Park Corner, Piccadilly, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall.

See the festival website (listed above) for the full programme and latest news. Love film? Check out the St Patrick’s Film festival London.

The festival is being supported by sponsors Tourism Ireland, The Irish Post, Bord Bia, Rineys, Coffeys, Moriarty Haulage and Porterhouse.