Crowds flock to returning Luton St Patrick's Festival

Luton St Patrick’s Festival returned in style this year with crowds enjoying several different events in the run up to St Patrick’s Day celebrations on 17th March.

A main highlight of the Festival (12th-17th March) was Parade, Music and Dance day on Sunday 13th. Hundreds of people joined the traditional parade from Luton Irish Forum on Hitchin Road to Market Hill in the town centre with thousands more watching. Irish and community groups, featured alongside individuals and families, marching bands, Gaelic Football teams, a DJ, a drag artist, classic cars and a vintage digger.

Two stars of country, John McNicholl and Tracey McAuley, performed great sets to an enthusiastic audience at the Outdoor Stage in Market Hill while the fast-paced kicks and high leaps of the Irish dancers on the Indoor Stage had shoppers in The Mall clapping and cheering along.

An Irish themed market included not only Irish hot food, soda breads, flags and novelties but Moroccan inspired-ceramics and green candyfloss and jelly.

New to Luton St Patrick’s Festival this year was an ‘After Party’ featuring music genres such as ‘Folk-punk’ and ‘psycho-ceilidh’ from bands Missing The Ferry and Neck respectively who performed to a packed and appreciative Hat Factory crowd. More clapping and whooping accompanied the Galway/Sligo Trad Group and the immensely popular ‘Brush Dance’.

Another new addition to Luton St Patrick’s Festival this year was a GAA Blitz on Saturday 12th March on St Joseph’s playing fields and featuring local Gaelic Football youth teams from St Dympna’s GFC Luton GAA, Luton GAA St Vincent’s GFC and the Claddagh Gaels LGFC.

St Patrick’s Day itself on 17th March was celebrated in The Celtic Club, with three generations of some families partying together. The afternoon event was sold out and the crowd were treated to live Irish trad music and dancing before favourite party tunes filled the dancefloor. Luton St Patrick’s Festival 2022 was rounded off with the LIF centre on Hitchin Road being lit up for the evening of 17th.

Noelette Hanley, CEO of Luton Irish Forum, which has organised the Luton Festival since it began in 2000, says: “It was great to see so many local people out, enjoying Irish culture – and just having fun together once again. We have missed it the last two years and the welcome back was tremendous.”

Festival goers’ comments included:

“A wonderful experience. A big thank you to all the volunteers”

“Amazing day for the community”

“Great taste of Ireland”

“Amazing after the pandemic for everyone to be together celebrating this festival”

“It was fantastic. I am third generation but my da lives in Ireland I’m proud to have Irish blood” “Great craic”.

The 2022 Festival Guide is still available to read online at https://lutonirishforum.org/St-Patricks

The team at Luton Irish Forum is planning already for 2023 and Noelette adds: “Anyone who wants to be involved in planning or helping at next year’s Festival, please just get in touch.”

Newsletters and Publications

Newsletters and Guides

Events

Upcoming

GYPSY ROMA TRAVELLER CHRISTMAS PARTY

Sunday 18th December 12.00 - 3.00

St Mary's Church, West St Dunstable, LU6 1NY

Free presents from Santa's Grotto

Children's Entertainer

Health Advice and Information

Doctor available for advice, blood pressure monitoring and diabetes testing

Vaccinations available

Irish Passport/Welfare Information

Irish Snacks

Most Recent

ST BRIGID'S DAY 2023

SAVE THE DATE
Join us on Saturday 28th January 2023 as we celebrate Irish women in the NHS in the 75th anniversary year of this vital service.

Early bird tickets available soon. Ideal Christmas present. 

Past

CHRISTMAS SOCIAL

Thursday 8th November

Start your celebrations early at our Christmas Social in The Celtic Club, LU1 3BS. Includes buffet lunch with tea/coffee, popular Christmas tunes to dance and/or sing-along to and super raffle prizes! Drinks can be purchased at the bar.
Booking in advance via LIF essential. LIF Members £6.00. LIF Non Members £8.00.
Please note: Doors will not open before 11:30am to allow adequate set-up time.