St. Patrick's Festival Parade DublinPop quiz: Where would you rather be on St. Patrick’s Day?

  1. New York City
  2. Chicago
  3. Dallas
  4. Sitting at home

If you’re a marching band director, you probably know there are incredible parades in many of the major cities in the U.S., including New York City, Chicago, Dallas, and possibly in your own hometown – any of which you would be thrilled to have your band participate. But, by far the biggest and most impressive – and let’s be honest, also the most authentic – is in Dublin, Ireland.

Marching bands from the United States are invited to apply to participate in this world-class parade, and applications for the 2017 event are now being accepted.  Even better, registration with MCI for travel to the parade will include an entirely free Director Preview Tour to view the parade in March 2016 before your band participates a year later.

There is no better place in the world to celebrate this holiday than in the city where it all began.  Read on to learn more about this incredible event!

St. Patrick's Festival ParadeThe St. Patrick’s Festival

Every March, Dublin serves as the setting for a spectacular four-day festival, an event that started as a small affair in 1995 and has now grown to tremendous international proportions.  The festival kicks off on March 14, and among its many events, activities include boat races, walking tours, ceremonial performances, Irish street theater companies, cultural films, comedy shows, traditional Irish music performances, and much more!

Greening the City

One of the most popular highlights of the St. Patrick’s Festival is Greening the City.  Throughout Dublin, the city’s most iconic landmarks – such as Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Guinness Storehouse – are lit up in a splendid night-time green to celebrate the spirit of the holiday.

Dearborn High School Band - Dublin St. Patrick's Day ParadeThe Parade

The keystone event of the festival is the St. Patrick’s Festival Parade.  Held annually on March 17, the parade is the ultimate capstone to the festival.  The event is nationally televised across Ireland, and  available via live webcast across the globe.

Many dignitaries attend the event each year, including in recent years the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.

Winding past the most incredible sights the city offers – beginning with Parnell Square, running across O’Connell Bridge, then past Trinity College, City Hall, Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin Castle, and culminating in a grand celebration just past Historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral – the event offers the ultimate parade experience of a lifetime for participating bands.

St. Patrick's Festival Parade DublinImagine the sight of hundreds of thousands of people lining the parade route to see your band, the sounds of their voices cheering you on over the continuous bagpipe melodies piercing the air.

Join us for this breathtaking display of Irish heritage in a thrilling international carnival atmosphere!

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Free Director Preview Tour for Band Directors to view the March 2016 Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival Parade

Interested in taking your band to participate in the 2017 parade?  Applications are being accepted now, and to take the experience to a whole new level we are offering a FREE preview tour to Dublin the week of the parade in 2016 so you may get a feel for the event, the festival as a whole, and – most importantly – to have a great time!

The deadline for preview tour registration is February 1, 2016.  Each Preview Tour is free for the director when a group registers with MCI for its 2017 tour to Ireland for the parade.

Enter your information below to receive details on the free Director Preview Tour in March 2016, travel details for U.S. bands, and parade application information.