St Patrick's Day 2016 Belfast 1THOUSANDS of people are attending St Patrick’s Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland.

Belfast city centre has come alive with a colourful carnival parade for all the family to enjoy.

The Belfast parade left from city hall at noon and make its way to Custom House Square for a free concert.

The parade Travels across Donegall Square North, down Donegall Place, Royal Avenue, turns right onto Donegall Street, onto Bridge Street, left onto High Street and ends at Custom House Square where the free concert will be held.

The rainbow city themed carnival, designed by Beat, will feature community groups from across the cultural spectrum alongside professional and amateur performers, musicians and dancers.

Free concert at Custom House Square

From 12.45pm to 3pm enjoy a free outdoor concert hosted by Cool FM’s Breakfast presenters Pete Snodden, Paulo Ross and Rebecca McKinney.

Access to the concert is free and entry is on a first come, first served basis – no ticket required. Terms and conditions of entry apply. Gates open at 12 noon and under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Headlining the concert will be Ben Haenow, winner of X Factor 2014. Also performing will be Brian McFadden who achieved seven straight number 1 singles with Westlife.

High energy performances from 2014 Britain’s Got Talent semi finalist’s Irish Dance group ‘Innova’, the Belfast Boys’ Model Drummers and traditional music group ‘Altagore’, will be sure to keep everyone jigging and dancing the day away.

Completing the line up for the day will be local singer songwriter, Triona Carville, the first local artist to make it to Cool FM’s Shazam charts with her cover of Ash’s song “Shining Light”.

Traffic and travel

There will be traffic and travel disruptions in Belfast City Centre on Thursday 17 March. Find out more.

For more information on the event, please contact the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609.

Parades and celebrations are also being held in Derry, Armagh, Newry, Enniskillen, Omagh and Downpatrick.

The largest parade in the Republic will be in Dublin.

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