In almost every town in Ireland, the national day, St Patrick’s Day (17th March), is celebrated with a parade. Thanks to a long history of significant Irish emigration, a good deal of the world’s cities now also celebrate this. In some places you go to only watch the parade, but in Sweden you get to be the parade! The Stockholm parade takes place on the weekend close to the 17th. Come join in as we walk through Stockholm putting a smile on people’s faces!
The 2017 Stockholm parade – Saturday 18th March
This year’s parade took place on Saturday the 18th March 2017.
- The parade is organised every year completely by volunteers, and as it has grown to an event that attracts about 1,000 people, we need all the help we can get! Planning has already started for 2018. Got a little bit of time and energy to spare? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. No special skills are needed for the majority of tasks. In return you’ll meet some nice people and be part of something special.
- There is one thing you can definitely do to help: Renew your membership (or join up)! This is really important as without a strong society we cannot continue to organise the parade. It’s also a very practical way to show your appreciation. 🙂 Read how you can renew/join.
Photos from 2016
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We will gather from 12.00 at Humlegården (the Royal Library side). The Swedish Irish Society will provide face-painting and hand out balloons. You might meet some old friends, you can enter the costume competition, you can join the Society, or pick up some St Patrick’s Day-themed bits and pieces to finish off outfits (hats, flags etc).
At 13.00 sharp the parade will depart. We will walk to Gamla stan via Birger Jarlsgatan and Kungsträdgården (see map below). St Patrick leads the always impressive Stockholm Pipe Band, majestic wolfhounds, a giant snake (to symbolise the ones St Patrick banished from Ireland, according to legend), a rainbow leading to a pot of gold (associated with the mythical Irish creatures, leprechauns), and hundreds of happy people! Groups such as Spuds and Sill drama group and the Stockholm Gaels Gaelic football club participate under their banners. Other groups, such as Paddies with Prams, Proud Paddies, Paddies the Builders etc are also all welcome! Gather family and friends and join in. Your imagination is the limit!
- When we pass Mynttorget (where Drottninggatan meets Gamla stan) there will be a demonstration taking place. We must therefore stop playing music and disturb as little as possible.
- Stewards are there for everyone’s safety. Follow their instructions.
- Many dogs participate in this parade and we ask you therefore to be considerate and to not burst balloons near the dogs as it can scare them.
On arrival at Kornhamnstorg in Gamla stan there will be a celebration of Irish music and dance between 13.45 and 14.30 approximately. This year will feature the following artists, who are generously donating their time – thank you!
Truly Swedish-Irish, the Blarney Pilgrims were founded by a Swede (Kurre) and an Irishman (Ronnie) in the early 1970s. They usually found performing at O’Connell’s, are available for gigs anywhere and anyhow, and are currently recording a new CD due more or less any day now.
Draíocht School of Irish Dancing is one of few Irish dance schools in Stockholm. It is run by the three time Nordic Champion, 4th place in European Championships and World Qualifier Carina Olsson. Young students of the school will perform.
We usually have prizes for the Best Dressed Family/Pimped-up Pram and for the Best Dressed Individual/Pair so get working on your outfit! To be in with a chance to win you will need to register with a member of the committee (come to the tent at Humlegården) between 12.15 and 12.45. You’ll be given a number and the prizes will be awarded during the concert in Gamla stan.
Special thanks to sponsors of the 2017 parade
Map shows the usual planned route.
Weather forecast for the next few days:
More information about some of our sponsors:
“As a child growing up in Ireland I was very close to nature. I would love when summer came around and I got to watch the bees buzzing amongst the intense colours of the flowers. From these memories come strongly coloured stones, dancing diamonds and attention to detail.
From the first day I began working with jewellery I have been fascinated by gemstones. Studying with the Gemological association of Great Britain allowed me to explore the world of coloured stones in great depth.
In the early days of my learning, an experienced gemologist told me that the stones should do more than look pretty, they should talk to you. Our stones talk, dance and sparkle. We believe that a piece of jewellery should do more than just fit your hand. It should suit your personality too.” Michael O’Dwyer Goldsmith. Every piece tells a story.
Tourism Ireland provides information on Ireland as a holiday destination. Check out great holiday ideas and deals on Ireland.com.
The parade is organised annually by the Swedish Irish Society in collaboration with the Irish Embassy in Sweden and with generous sponsorship from businesses in the community.
Who was St Patrick?
St Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. He must have had the gift of the gab (as we say about persuasive people who can spin a good tale) as the conversion happened remarkably quickly and peacefully. He is also credited with banishing snakes from Ireland, for which we are eternally grateful. 🙂