St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo
forget about the price tag

St. Patrick's Day parade organisers defend €250 grandstand seat prices

Prices are up 20% last year due to increased production costs, the parade organisers have said.

THE ORGANISERS OF the national St. Patrick’s Day parade have defended the price tag of grandstand tickets, which cost up to €250 per seat, along the route.

The parade, which is expected to draw a crowd of almost half a million people on Friday afternoon, will feature five tiered seating areas holding 1,700 people.

Tickets for the two stands bookending the route at Parnell Square and St. Patrick’s Cathedral cost €100.

Prices rise to €120 for the Westmoreland Street and Christchurch locations and increase by more than two fold at the Emerald Circle  on O’Connell Street – where they cost €250 a pop.

This is up 20% on previous years due to an increase in production costs, the parade organisers have said.

Director of operations for the St Patrick’s Festival, Julia Dalton, said at a press briefing today that the cost of erecting the stand infrastructure is reflected in ticket prices, but that number of people who choose to buy seats makes up “less than half a percent” of parade attendees.

“For the majority of people the parade is free to attend,” she said.

Tickets for this Friday’s parade went on sale in November and are sold out.

Speaking to The Journal, Pat Carey, Head of marketing and communications with the festival said that paid grandstand seating offers people “a different experience” of the parade, “maybe not necessarily like standing at the barriers”.

“It’s not just American tourists, there’s loads and loads of Irish people, loads and loads of Dublin people, who want to be able to view the parade in a kind of a different way.

“They sell out every year”, he said.

“Significant policing operation”

Today’s briefing also heard from representatives of An Garda Síochána, which said it will be implementing a “significant policing operation” across the Dublin region this weekend.

Assistant Commissioner Angela Willis told reporters that the force has cancelled rest days and annual leave for its Dublin members across the weekend and that there will be “in excess of 600” Gardaí on duty on Friday.

She also said that, as in previous years, alcohol will not be sold in the city centre (in and around the St. Stephens Green region to Parnell Square) until 4pm St. Patrick’s Day.

This includes pubs, restaurants, shops and any other businesses licensed to sell alcohol.

Assistant Commissioner Willis said: “This is a very significant contribution from our business community and licensees in supporting the success of recent St. Patrick’s festivals.

“It is very much appreciated and critical to ensuring an enjoyable experience by all in attendance.”

There will also be controlled access to the Temple Bar area in the aftermath of the parade to avoid overcrowding.

The parade will commence at 12pm at Parnell Square, cross over into the southside of the city and finish at 2pm.

The St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter returns for a second year at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, with a host of daytime and nighttime activities for families and revellers across the weekend.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin said all measures are in place to make this St Patrick’s Day a “safe and happy one”.

“We’re looking forward to making the city a welcoming place to be céad míle fáilte, as we always have.”

More on festivities in the capital can be found here.

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