Huddersfield’s St Patrick’s Day celebration will be held in St George’s Square on Sunday March 20 – and this is what’s happening.

There won’t be the traditional parade around the town centre. Instead, it’ll be the world’s second shortest parade – which won’t leave the square!

The parade will start at the steps to Huddersfield Railway Station and finish at Harold Wilson’s statue, just 32 metres away.

There will be music and dance in the square along with a bar and food stalls.

The theme of the Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Cultural Programme this year is ‘arrivals’, with the train station steps being the first experience of Huddersfield for many Irish (and so many others), arriving in Huddersfield – this making the parade of 32 metres from the station steps to the Harold Wilson Statue so significant.

The 2022 parade itinerary will be as follows, with a specific focus on celebrating Irish music and dancing: 

  • 11.30am-12.30pm Mass – St. Patrick’s Church (Irish Dancers and Brother’s Pearse GAA Youth Section)
  • 12noon – Parade Celebration Starts, St George’s Square
  • 12noon-1pm – Traditional Irish Music Session (The Grove Music Group)
  • 12.30pm-12.45pm – Irish Centre Set Dancers with The Siege of Ennis 
  •  1pm – Town Crier announces the start of the Parade (from the Station Steps)
  •  1.15pm – Presentation and Speeches – Irish Embassy North of England Vice Consul General Carina O’Brien 
  •  1.30-2pm – Frances Cassidy School of Irish Dancers
  •  2pm-2.30pm – St. Patrick’s Primary School Choir 
  •  2pm-2.45pm – Brothers Pearse Youth Section Gaelic football display (in front of Station Steps)
  •  2.30pm-3pm – Across the Moone – modern Irish duo
  •  3pm-4pm – Giants Causeway – Irish Rock Band
  •  4pm Event Finish!

Following the official parade, there will be more events taking place at the Irish Centre (DJ Chris 5pm to midnight / plus Ballyhoo 7pm-10pm) and St Patrick’s Centre (Michael Bracken 4.30pm). 

Tony Lambe, committee chair for the parade, said: “The St Patrick’s Day parade is a great chance for us to showcase our colours and the Irish culture which is so present here in Huddersfield. St Patrick is a really important figure for us and the day’s events will represent his significance.

“Within the Irish community music plays an important role. As a DJ myself at the Irish centre, I got to see first-hand how people engage and celebrate the tremendous Irish songwriters in the community and we can’t wait to honour some of the most stand out songs as this year’s parade.”

In addition, there will be a screening of the first-ever Huddersfield St. Patrick’s Day Parade Video from 2001, at The Irish Centre on Saturday March 19 at 7.30pm, followed by a display of set dancing and music by Tom Collins (free).

The St Patrick’s Day Parade perfectly echoes the ongoing work Kirklees Council are doing to tune up for the Kirklees Year of Music 2023.

The Year of Music is a unique, place-based, transformational cultural change programme that strengthens the music ecology of Kirklees from its roots, including education, health & wellbeing, the night-time economy, music tourism, aspiration & skills, and inclusion, with a view to tackling poverty, reducing inequalities and inequity and developing an inclusive economy.

“The year of music programme aims to harness the universal power of music to bring people together, improve health and well-being and put Kirklees firmly on the global map as a place where great music can be made, played and enjoyed. 

Parade secretary John Lambe said: “We’re really excited to be returning for our 20th annual parade. This year we’ve had some great assistance from the council and associated bodies who have been really supportive with getting the event organised, in such a short space of time, given the change of committee, which we’d very much like to acknowledge all their hard work over the years, in particular, that of former long-standing secretary or 21 years – John McLoughlin.

“Over the years the parade has benefitted from grant support from the Irish Government through its Emigrant Support Programme (ESP), with £4,500 having been awarded to the 2020 parade, which has been carried over to 2022.

“This year, in addition, we are very pleased to announce that the ESP grant has been matched with a further grant of £4,500 by Historic England Huddersfield High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) Cultural Grant Programme, which is managed and supported by Kirklees Council, through a consortium led by CHOL theatre.

“The HSHAZ covers the St George’s Square Area, with the renovation of The George Hotel and Estate Buildings being its focus but also aims to raise awareness and revitalise the high street, through its Cultural Programme too.

“We are very grateful for the grant support that both bodies have offered us and demonstrate the value of joint working and the commitment to celebrating Culture and Economic benefits too.

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet member for greener Kirklees, said: “Whether you have Irish heritage or not, there’s a temptation to take part in celebrating St Patrick’s Day.

“Come along and celebrate with your family and friends, listen to music, have some food, dress in green, and let’s celebrate our Irish heritage.”

Find out more about the upcoming parade here: