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SAINTGOOD; ST PATRICK'S DAY 2008 Ulster revellers ready to paint the town green.

Byline: By VICTORIA McMAHON

NORTHERN Ireland is set to party today as thousands of revellers take to the streets to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

Three of the biggest parades will take place in Belfast, Derry and Downpatrick with smaller festivities in Newry and Armagh - and the really good news is the weather is to stay bright and dry.

In BELFAST, celebrations kick off at noon when a parade, on the theme The Shamrock And the Storm which features thunderous drummers, a huge rainbow float and shamrocks, leaving City Hall.

The parade will make its way along Donegall Place to Castle Junction into Castle Place, then along High Street, Victoria Street and Victoria Square, ending in Custom House Square.

There former Sugababe Mutya Buena will take to the stage to headline a free concert at 1pm.

In DOWNPATRICK, thought to be the burial place of the man himself, a parade will bring a carnival atmosphere to the town. The cavalcade will assemble on the Ardglass Road at 1pm and depart at 2.30pm for the town centre where it is expected to arrive at 2.50pm.

DERRY's parade will take a new route this year, leaving the city council car park at Strand Road at 2.30pm.

The carnival will then make its way up the Strand Road, through the pedestrian zone at Waterloo Place to Guildhall Square where it will then arrive at around 3.30pm.

RTE's You're a Star George Murphy, the Black Donnellys and top Celtic rock band the Gravediggers Grin will join irish dancers and local musicians in helping the crowds drown their shamrock.

NEWRY's parade, led by Mayor Pat McGinn, will start at noon at the Quays Shopping Centre before going to Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island, Kildare Street and ending at The Mall.

ARMAGH did most of its celebrating on Saturday but St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral will hold a cappella nova choral concert. Doors open at 7pm. For details call 028 37 521800.

And in DUBLIN thousands will line the streets for the island's biggest parade.

ulster@mirror.co.uk

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GUEST: SF's Gerry Adams in New York; JEST FOR LAUGHS: Children join fun in London on Saturday
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 17, 2008
Words:367
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