Your Top 10 Reasons to Attend Waterford’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival 2024
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Waterford
Waterford proudly holds the title of Ireland’s oldest city, it was founded by the Vikings in 914AD. Prior to the establishment of the city, the Norsemen settled along the banks of the River Suir in Woodstown, the discovery of this site during development works in 2003 has added significantly to our knowledge and understanding of Viking activity in Ireland and the significance of Waterford during the period. This undeniably laid the foundation for Waterford’s global and national impact and what could be more significant than Ireland’s globally recognised national holiday?
1. From the 10th Century Waterford continued to garner national and international attention. Since it’s the foundation both the city and county witnessed invasions, sieges, conflicts and economic struggles. Waterford’s rich and long-spanning history has ensured it was not only nationally but also globally recognised for several reasons. In the 15th Century Waterford was known as the wine capital of Ireland with evidence of this significant import visible to this day in the Medieval Museum which forms part of the Waterford Treasures.
2. The Irish Tricolour flag was first flown in Waterford on March 7th 1848 by Irish revolutionary and Waterford native TF Meagher, whose birthplace was the site of the Granville Hotel on the Quays. 3. The 18th Century architectural legacy left by John Roberts remains visible in the form of Christchurch Cathedral (Protestant) and The Most Holy Trinity Cathedral (Catholic). 4. Beyond the city in the heritage town of Lismore is the birthplace of the father of modern chemistry Robert Boyle, who was born in Lismore Castle in 1627. 5. The city is host to several significant and universally famed artefacts including Henry the VIII Cap of Maintenance and the Cloth of Gold Vestments both on display in the Medieval Museum.
6. Arguably Waterford’s most famous export is glass. Waterford Glass was established in the city in 1783 by George and William Penrose soon followed by Waterford Crystal. The current county and city of Waterford flourished from its strong and historic foundations and offers an extensive and intriguing visitor experience which most definitely includes the St. Patrick’s Day Festival.
7. Arguably the most significant national legacy forged by Waterford city is being the official site of the first-ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1903.
It was Waterford native Luke Wadding who ensured the date was added to the liturgical calendar. Luke Wadding was born in 1588 a crucial time for religion in Ireland. Luke and his family were dedicated to promoting and spreading the Catholic faith. Although beginning his formal education in Waterford Luke soon travelled throughout Europe studying and practising Catholicism. In 1613 he was ordained as a Franciscan priest and rooted himself as a significant and indispensable member of the order at one point Wadding was considered for pope prior to his death in 1657. His contribution to global theology and academia was long-lasting. However, here in Waterford, we are most proud of him for creating international recognition and bringing St. Patrick’s Day to Waterford City.
8. Since the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1903 Waterford city has celebrated the important national event with a yearly parade. The city’s dedication to the holiday led to online events during the pandemic. In 2022 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Waterford came back with a 3-day festival to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend. 9. The city was a buzz with locals and tourists alike as people took to the streets for the parade and to enjoy the wide variety of events organised by Waterford City & County Council. Some of the 2022 St. Patrick’s Day Festival events included the Luke Wadding Walking Tour, live music and a wide range of events for all. 10. In 2024 the festival aims to be even bigger with the three-day event from March 15th-18th featuring a wide range of events and activities. It promises to be an unforgettable weekend in the city.
Waterford offers a wide range of culinary, hospitality and cultural heritage experiences, where best to celebrate St. Patrick’s weekend than where it first began.