Patrick Kielty chosen as Grand Marshal for the 2024 National St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The face of Friday night television in Ireland, Patrick Kielty has been chosen as the Grand Marshal for the 2024 National St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This March, the stand-up comedian and TV personality from Dundrum, Co Down will celebrate an incredible six months at the helm of TV entertainment and the new host of RTÉ’s The Late Late Show, the longest running live chat show in the world and an Irish institution.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daithí de Róiste says: “The National St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of our most special occasions, celebrating the Spréach of the people of Ireland, which unites us all both here in Dublin and across the globe. As my first St. Patrick’s Festival as Lord Mayor of Dublin, I am so looking forward to watching the many pageants and marching bands that make up this spectacular event. It’s also Patrick Kielty’s first year in his role as host of the iconic Late Late Show, and so I’m delighted to see him selected as our Grand Marshal for this year’s Parade. I’d encourage everyone to come together and enjoy all that the city has to offer this St. Patrick’s Day.”

Patrick Kielty (centre) at St. Patricks Cathedral where he was unveiled as Grand Marshal for this year’s National St. Patricks Day Parade. 22/02/2024 Photograph: © Fran Veale/Julien Behal Photography

Patrick Kielty says:“I couldn’t be more excited to be this year’s Grand Marshal and can’t thank the Festival enough for asking me to be part of our biggest day. It’s such a honour to be asked and I was genuinely gobsmacked when the call came in. When you’re lucky enough to be called Patrick, St Patrick’s Day always feels like an extra birthday and I can’t wait to get the world’s biggest party started on March 17th.”

This year’s National St. Patrick’s Day Parade,driven by the values of joy, community, diversity and sustainability, promises to be the most ambitious ever, featuring more pageants, more participants, bringing more laughter, spectacle and joy to those watching. The theme of this year’s Festival and Parade is ‘Spréach’, the Irish word for Spark, which represents the unique essence of Ireland and of Irish People. It’s what sets us apart and what brings us together, and oftentimes it’s the reason that people from all over the world have a special place in their hearts for Irish people, place and culture. 

The Festival has worked with pageant companies and partners to explore the different interpretations of Spréach – whether that’s the glint of craic in the eye that is so familiar to Irish people, or whether that’s the light of innovation and discovery so present throughout our history. Whether that’s the fire in our bellies, so evident in our sporting heritage, or about the flame of creativity that is so rightly celebrated throughout the world through our writers, poets, musicians, artists, actors and all our amazing creatives. Spréach is about celebrating that uniquely Irish spark of life. 

In his work throughout the years, Patrick Kielty is someone who acknowledges those values and celebrates them through conversation, humour and storytelling. Along with his current hosting duties on Irish television, Kielty presents his own radio talk show on BBC 5Live and previously has hosted Last Chance Lottery for Channel 4 and his own BBC chat show, Patrick Kielty Almost Live. Other works that delve deeper into these core values involve documentaries and films, including his 2018 Bafta-nominated documentary ‘My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me’, which earned him ‘UK Documentary Host of the Year’ at the 2018 Grierson Awards and his 2021 work ‘Patrick Kielty:100 Years of Union’, for which he won an RTS award for best presenter.

Patrick Kielty with Bella Walsh (12) and Hollie Hopkins (12) from Arkins Dance and Stage Academy at St. Patricks Cathedral where he was unveiled as Grand Marshal for this year’s National St. Patricks Day Parade. 22/02/2024 Photograph: © Fran Veale/Julien Behal Photography

With half a million spectators expected to line this year’s route, the Parade will feature 18 pageants and performance showpieces, 14 marching bands from across Ireland, North America and France and over 4,000 participants in what is shaping up to be the largest ever National St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

A fantastic new pageant has been commissioned featuring a collaboration between the St. Patrick’s Festival Community Arts programme and the North-East Inner-City Partnership (NEIC). The pageant will honour and celebrate the Festival’s connection to Dublin’s inner city, with its own residents taking centre stage on the streets of the Capital. The Festival continues to work with Ireland’s foremost creative pageant companies including Bui Bolg, Spraoi, Inishowen Carnival, The Outing Queer Arts Collective, Artastic and Dublin Cycling CampaignBui Bolg once again partners withKia for an exciting new pageant exploring the link between Spréach, electric vehicle technology, and the circular economy; while the Olympic Federation of Ireland will look forward to Paris 2024, while also celebrating 100 years of Irish participation in the Olympic Games. 

Parade Grandstand Seats and Hospitality Packagesare all sold out, but for those that are unable to attend this year’s Parade, the full Parade will be broadcast nationally live on RTÉ One, and around the world on RTÉ Player.

Back for Festival 2024 is the hugely popular St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks which will be home to a magical day-to-night Festival for all, kicking off on Saturday March 16th from 12pm, and all day and night on St. Patrick’s Day from 12pm – 10:30pm. The grounds of one of Ireland’s most spectacular and historic heritage sites in the heart of Dublin will feature An Halla Mór (Main Stage), Rí Rá Stage (Bandstand), Tigín (Snug), Ruaille Buaille Tent, Bia Mall – a new artisan food space, Súgradh games area and the Timpeall programme of walkabout entertainment. 

Saturday night at Festival Quarter sees the return of Cultúr Club with Mother, a very special night of live music, queer performance and art in celebration of Irish LGBTQ+ club culture and the transformative power of the dancefloor in one of Ireland’s most iconic spaces. St. Patrick’s Day at Festival Quarter promises a huge celebration of Irish culture throughout the day and night from noon until 10:30pm, and all completely FREE. Come along to the centre of the world for St Patrick’s Day celebrations with Irish traditional music in every corner, Céilí dancing for all, collaborations and mash-ups galore. St Patrick’s Festival at Collins Barracks carries the buzz of the Parade all day long.

As part of a curated programme of events in collaboration with cultural partners around the city, there will be a diverse offering of St. Patrick’s Festival supported live events throughout Dublin over the period of the Festival. Working with internationally renowned Arts organisations including THISISPOPBABY, the Abbey Theatre and CoisCéim Dance Theatre and featuring walking tours and an after dark programme, the One City Programme is dedicated to showcasing some of the best Irish Arts and Cultural experiences that the country has to offer. 

The Festival Programme is available at and will continue to be updated as more events are announced. See for details and tickets. To be the first to hear all the news, join the Festival mailing list on the website and follow St. Patrick’s Festival on all social media channels.