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Patrick Kielty Announced as Grand Marshal for the St. Patrick's Day Parade 2024

Thursday 22 February


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.

"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."

Patrick Kielty

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.

"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."

Patrick Kielty

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.

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 Campaign. Bui Bolg once again partners with Kia 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 Packages are 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.