St Patrick's Day 2021

St Patrick’s Day Parade 2021
Once Upon a Parade
Ana Ospina, Alice Halliday and Michael Stephens

Launching on 1 February (Lá Féile Bhríde / Imbolc), #skibbereenvirtualstpatricksday invites the local community to participate in a programme of online, family-friendly arts activities, continuing with last year’s theme of Irish Folklore and Fairies. Working with Uillinn and Skibbereen Chamber of Commerce, artist Ana Ospina and designers Alice Halliday and Michael Stephens will develop the project to culminate in a virtual parade and broadcast to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Skibbereen on 17 March and include the costumes and props created during last year’s workshops. Read about 2020 here.

Find out more about the project and the team behind the ideas here.

Gavin Buckley interviews artists Ana Ospina and Alice Halliday in the latest edition of the Uillinn Podcast

West Cork Arts Centre · Uillinn Podcast: St Patrick's Day Virtual Parade 2021

Thursday February 4th: Create your own Folklore & Fairytales character

Choose which section of the parade you would like to work on and design a Folklore & Fairytale character board using collage with help from lead artist and theatre designer, Ana Ospina. This will be the starting point for your costume and something you will refer back to throughout the creative process. Time to complete: 1-2 hours. Join the event on Facebook for updates:

Get the create your own Folklore & Fairytales character activity PDF by clicking on the image or here


Thursday February 11th: Make your own Enchanted Cloak

Using simple sewing techniques, ethical fashion designer Alice Halliday shows you how to create and decorate a unique cloak as part of your costume, from scrap materials. Time to complete: 1-2 hours. Join the event on Facebook for updates:

Get the Make your own Enchanted Cloak activity PDF by clicking on the image or here. 



Thursday February 18th: Craft your own Magical Parade Props
Simple making techniques to help you create creative props and accessories to go with your costume from lead artist and theatre designer, Ana Ospina and designer/maker Michael Stephens. Time to complete: 1-2 hours making and 1-2 days drying time depending on which item you make. Join the event on Facebook for updates:

Get the Craft your own Magical Parade Props activity PDF by clicking on the image or here



Thursday February 25th: Fabricating Mythical Headpieces
Your crowning glory! Learn to make an eye-catching headpiece or crown with help from ethical fashion designer Alice Halliday. Use materials you already have at home or sign up to receive one of our free kits, which include the basic materials you will need to make your headpiece. This activity will be accompanied by a free online workshop which will be streamed live via Zoom and Facebook at 3pm on Saturday the 27th of February at 3pm. Booking is essential to receive your free kit. Time to complete: 1-2 hours. Join the event on Facebook for updates:

Get the Fabricate your own Mythical Headpiece activity PDF by clicking on the image or here


Saturday February 27: Once Upon a Parade - Mythical Headpieces Live workshop 
3:00 – 4:00pm (Zoom)
Watch the recording



  • Moving beyond mainstream modern images of fairytales, looking at the darker side
  • Look to the past, back to a time when humans were close with Nature 
  • Consider our connection with the natural world around us,
  • explore links to current environmental themes
  • Explore an organic and otherworldy aesthetic that will surprise, delight and intrigue the public

We ask that you use recycled and repurposed materials wherever possible, and avoid creating unnecessary waste

There will be 5 sections to the parade:

“The Celtic Fivefold Symbol may be a good way of explaining the significance of this number. It consists of four interlocking circles with a fifth in the centre containing the points at which all four circles meet. The first four circles represent those aspects of our world which come in fours and thus represent wholeness, and which exist outside of us, for example the elements fire-air-earth-water; the directions South-North-East-West; the seasons spring-summer-autumn-winter.
So what was the 5th element which unified them all? It’s something esoteric and indefinable, something which exists within us and everywhere, a balanced uniform power which can be accessed by the human mind, which represents the centre of all, transition, transcendence, ascension, spirituality, balance, knowledge of all. I don’t even know if it has a name of its own, enlightenment perhaps, or the divine.”
- Ali Isaac, Storyteller


Please make sure all children who take part in our online activities, do so with adult supervision. We advise participants to wear appropriate clothing and take relevant safety precautions when using equipment or materials that may cause harm. Please see our Child Protection Policy here.


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.

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