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St. Patrick's Festival and Dublin City Council Announce Relaxed Parade Space

Monday 19 February


Working together to ensure the St. Patrick's Day Parade is a safe and happy place for all to enjoy

St Patrick's Festival is delighted to announce the introduction of a Relaxed Parade Space for the first time at this year’s national St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 17th. The Relaxed Parade Space, sponsored by Dublin City Council, supported by the Lord Mayor Daithí de Róiste, with additional support from Bank of Ireland, aims to create the space which will be designed to support the needs of neurodivergent families and individuals, and those with sensory processing differences.

An estimated 500,000 people are expected to come out to witness the spectacle of the Parade and St. Patrick’s Festival wants it to be a happy place for everyone to enjoy. Organisers are conscious that some of the factors that make up the typical parade experience – loud noise, crowds, unpredictability - can be overwhelming and can act as a barrier for access to many members of the neurodiversity community.

Located at Bank of Ireland College Green, with access points at either end, the Relaxed Parade Space will offer attendees a safe space, away from the crowded streets from which to view and enjoy the parade.

There will be extra space to allow freedom of movement to those who need it, additional seating, sensory areas and entertainment before the Parade, and in the performance zone all Pageants, Marching Bands and Showpieces will showcase a Relaxed Performance.

Additionally, the festival is partnering with AsIAm, Ireland's national autism charity, and Neurodiversity Ireland, an organisation helping to make our communities places where neurodivergent people feel seen, supported and included, to provide as much advance information to make the day as accessible as possible for all. A visual guide to communicate the journey and experience will be available to help families in planning and preparing for their day. Festival staff are working with consultants around best practices in making sure that attendees at the Relaxed Parade Space have the information and support that they will need onsite throughout the day, along with visual guides to further assist families who may need them.

Families who wish to avail of the Relaxed Parade Space are asked to register their interest via this application form, or email or call 01 6040090. 

More details, including specifics around what to expect in the space on the day, will be announced in the coming weeks.

St. Patrick’s Festival hopes that the Relaxed Parade Space will continue to evolve and develop in response to feedback from the neurodiversity community and that this space will become an important part of future St. Patrick’s Festivals in our journey towards greater inclusion.

*Please note* that applications are now closed for the Relaxed Parade Space.

We have had a huge number of applications for the space, which we have already started to process. The volume of applications for our Relaxed Parade Space has been unprecedented and is a clear sign for the need for greater inclusivity - something that we at St. Patrick's Festival are committed to achieving in the future.

Due to the huge demand for tickets for the Relaxed Parade Space, allocation of access wristbands will be made on the basis of a lottery, taking place on Tuesday 27 February. Successful applicants will be contacted by email on Tuesday 27 February and will be required to confirm attendance by Friday 1 March at 12pm.

Note: Due to the large numbers of applications, any applicant offered tickets in lottery, but who have not confirmed attendance by the above date will unfortunately lose their place in the Relaxed Parade Space.

The Festival will be operating a waiting list for applicants who have not been successful in the selection lottery on Tuesday 27 February, and any unconfirmed tickets will be offered to applicants on the waiting list.

Please note that entry to the Relaxed Parade Space is via wrist band only.