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The third annual Kilkenny Tradfest programme launches officially tonight in Paris Texas, but leafing through the programme online, it’s already proving to be a festival punching nicely above its weight and landing some great acts as a result.

The festival runs this year from 14-17 March and brings with it Sharon Shannon, Lumiere, Seo Linn, Aengus Hackett, Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin, Pauline Scanlon, Sweeney’s Men, Mary Black, Ronan Ó Snodaigh, Edex Fox and much more besides.

St. Patrick’s Day will once again be a free affair in the Castle Park with The Steve Cooney Trio kicking off the music side of things at 2.15 following a lunchtime Parade with Sharon Shannon taking to the stage at 3pm.

There’s a healthy mix of free and ticketed events with the return of instrument workshops and masterclasses filling out this year’s programme. The Bulmers Live Sessions strand of the festival brings free shows from Seo Linn, Away With The Fairies, Ruggedwood, Steve Cooney, Cuig, At First Sight, Skippers Alley and John Spillane.

The best thing to do now is dive into the programme below and start marking your diary…