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All set for the greening of Killarney

Ross Castle, in glorious green, has become a signature image for the festival enjoyed by millions all over the globe

OTHER towns will be left green with envy when Killarney turns on the style – as only it can – to celebrate St Patrick’s Day 2021.

It will be much different to previous years – for obvious reasons – but it will still be quite spectacular as the town will turn various shades of green to mark the annual feast day.

Plans are at a very advanced stage for the greening of Killarney with several iconic landmarks ready to light up throughout the month with the spotlight set to illuminate the buildings from Friday, March 5 to Sunday, March 28.

Sites turning green will include St Mary’s Cathedral, St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Killarney Methodist Church, Ross Castle, Killarney Courthouse and the Franciscan Friary

“Ross Castle is an awesome sight, day or night, at any time of year but it is truly spectacular at night during the St Patrick’s Festival when it is drenched in green light,” said festival chairperson Paul Sherry.

“It has become a signature image for the festival enjoyed by millions all over the globe and it is real picture-postcard material,” he added.

Mayor of Killarney Cllr Brendan Cronin
St Patrick’s Festival chairperson Paul Sherry

The Mayor of Kilarney, Cllr Brendan Cronin, said he is delighted to welcome plans for what will be a very different St Patrick’s Day in 2021.

“After what has been a difficult year, we are looking forward to being able to celebrate our national holiday in what will be a very different but very exciting manner,” he said,

“Kerry County Council is delighted to work with St Patrick’s Festival Committee to develop this unique celebration of our people and place,” Cllr Cronin added.

In advance of the festival last year, just before Covid-19 called a halt to proceedings, the festival committee had organised various workshops with community artist Sophie Lodge.

The initiative, facilitated by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Kerry County Council, saw children and adults coming together in the ANAM centre on East Avenue Road to create colourful and imaginative props for street decoration in advance of the parade.

Due to the circumstances of the pandemic, the public never got a chance to view this work and the children didn’t see their efforts on display but all is not lost as this year the tower of St Mary’s Church of Ireland will be animated by the wonderful creations that were prepared for last year’s festival, thanks to the cooperation and enthusiasm of the Venerable Simon Lumby.

The tower of St Mary’s Church of Ireland will be animated by the wonderful creations that were prepared for last year’s festival

“Those behind the annual St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney recognise that many people who would like to be with us this year will be unable to join us as they are stranded elsewhere because of pandemic restrictions,” Paul Sherry acknowledged.

“We are instead calling on Killarney people all over the world to join us in our virtual celebration as we await better days ahead,” he added.

People everywhere are being invited to send photographs, via Instagram or on the St Patrick’s Festival Facebook page, of their own celebrations on St Patrick’s Day and the best snapshot will win accommodation in Killarney for the 2022 festival. Full details will be available on the festival website at www.stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie.

There will also be a photographic competition for those remaining at home in Killarney and all people have to do is send their photographs with the theme “Killarney – My 5K” to the festival’s social media platforms. Further details will be announced shortly but, in the meantime, get snapping because you can enter as often as you wish.

There will also be a prize for the best greened building and the best dressed shop window so watch out for further details.

The festival committee is extremely grateful for the support of its partners and sponsors, Kerry County Council, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Fáilte Ireland and the business community of Killarney.

For the full low-down on this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney go to www.stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie.

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