Preparations are being finalised for "virtual" St Patrick's Day celebrations in many areas, with online events taking precedence this year due to ongoing restrictions.

Virtual parades will be a common theme on the big day while landmarks are going green nationwide, in common with many public spaces across the world as part of a promotion of all things Irish.

In Waterford, for example, people have been encouraged to hold parades in their home or garden and record short videos to upload to a dedicated Facebook group page.

"Waterford needs you, the community, to play your part in bringing to life our annual parade, with all your heart and soul," Mayor of County Waterford, Cllr Damien Geoghegan, said.

Among the many public areas going green this week are the Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge outside Waterford city, which has been lit up by the EveryEvent production company along with other popular spots such as the Bishop’s Palace and Reginald’s Tower.

More details are available on Waterford Council's website and the Waterford St Patrick’s Day Facebook page.

Young people have also been sending in short stories on the theme of "I will never forget what happened on St Patrick’s Day…"

Meanwhile, in Kilkenny, a day of online events gets under way at 11.30am tomorrow and runs until 9pm with music, arts, storytelling, animation, singing and environmental activities.

A trail of seanfhocail - some of our Irish language wisdom-filled sayings - is on display on the pavements of Kilkenny city's streets and in the Market Yard and at night, more landmark buildings have been "greened up".

Tomorrow's events will be hosted online by Evanne Ní Chuilinn, proud Kilkenny citizen and RTÉ Sports presenter. 

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr Andrew McGuinness, said the reaction to the call-out for community groups, schools and family groups, at home and abroad, had been phenomenal.

"We have had over a hundred videos submitted to us, showing how we’ve become a city and county of film makers during lockdown and they contain a great display of the fun, creativity and spirit of Kilkenny," he said.

One of the highlights will be a special concert featuring traditional group Kila, in collaboration with multi-Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon providing scenes from Wolfwalkers which landed the studio another Oscar award possibility after being nominated just yesterday.

"We are delighted that our community’s ongoing work in protecting and enhancing our environment is at the forefront of the programme," Kilkenny County Council Chief Executive Colette Byrne said.

"It is also fitting that we showcase Kilkenny to the country and the wider world as we prepare for brighter times ahead, when our society and economy will reopen to welcome back visitors and investors in what is a hugely exciting time in our development with the emergence of the exciting new Abbey Quarter in Kilkenny City, mirrored by the equally exciting developments at Belview Port and the North Quays project in the south of the county," Ms Byrne said.

The National Opera House in Wexford will host a special concert on St Patrick's night, capping a day of activities in the county involving the local council led by mayor Leonard Kelly, Seanchaí Productions and Extreme Rhythm.

These will include the 'St Patrick’s Day ShoutOut', drawings with Don Conroy and The Story of St Patrick which will be told from the historic St Patrick’s Church in Wexford town.

Highlight of the evening will be the Green Light Session, recorded under strict social distancing guidelines, on the main stage of the National Opera House.

This video broadcast will feature leading Wexford artists including Peter Murphy, Rachel Grace, Corner Boy, Mark Redmond, The Frisky Gypsys, Roger McGuire, and Máca.

This community initiative is fully voluntary with the organisers, the production team and the musicians themselves all giving their time and energy to bring some positivity into the community.

The concert will be broadcast live on Facebook at 8pm on St Patrick’s night, on the Wexford Virtual St Patrick’s Day 2021 Page, and also on YouTube on the Virtual St Patrick's Day 2021 Channel.