Westport has a jam-packed programme of free events planned over four days to celebrate Ireland’s patron saint in the shadow of his holy mountain this St Patrick’s weekend.
Poetry with Paddy Guthrie opens the weekend at Sky Sea Shore Gallery on James Street at 6pm this evening.
Later, at 8pm in the Wyatt Hotel, the music begins with Bagad from Westport’s twin town in Brittany, Ploughastel, and the Clew Bay Pipe Band.
On Saturday, a park run with a green theme takes place with lots of spot prizes for those sporting green.
In Blousers, people can recall old times in Westport at the Lawrence Collection of old photographs with Seamus Gavin or reminisce with Richard White at Curry’s Cottage.
A piper trail of musicians will also wander the streets of Westport, calling to pubs and cafes.
The Covey Wheelers will host its annual Ras Maigh Eo Stage Race, which includes 90km, 80km, and 8km road races over two days.
On Sunday afternoon, over at The Mall, The Great Westport Duck Race takes place at 1 pm, when 1,000 plastic ducks will be released at the post office steps.
For fun runners, joggers, and walkers, there will be a junior and adult 5k race at Carrowholly on Sunday at 1pm.
At 3pm on Sunday, Blousers is hosting a ‘Cuppa with the Covies’, where there will be conversation, a few songs and a couple of great local yarns.
St Patrick’s Day itself kicks-off from the car park at Murrisk for the early risers with a dawn climb of Croagh Patrick at 6am led by some of the local town councillors.
The main event, the St Patrick’s Day Parade, starts at 1.30pm and will be celebrating St Patrick and Westport Smarter Travel.
Joining in the celebration will be Westport Town Band, Ardinarrif Flute Band, Clew Bay Pipe Band, and Bagad.
This year, the parade takes a new route starting from the Sacred Heart School and moving on to Distillery Road, The Fairgreen, and Mill Street, turning right at the clock and down Bridge Street to the Mall. The parade moves on from the Mall towards the Fairgreen, turning left down to the Newport Road junction. The parade then continues up James Street, passing the reviewing stand at The Octagon, on to Shop Street, and then to disperse from Mill Street.