Sometimes it seems that the whole world wants to be Irish and on Saint Patrick’s Day it can be. If you can’t make it to Ireland in person for the celebration, why not visit Ireland virtually and take part in one of the world’s biggest parties online!
Tourism Ireland will host the world’s first virtual St Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday 16 March, in the internet-based, virtual world of Second Life. The virtual parade will include 20 Irish and Celtic themed floats and will be the highlight of a three-day Discover Ireland Festival in Second Life, sponsored by Tourism Ireland.
Second Life is one of the largest virtual worlds in existence, with over 12 million registered users, 3 million of whom are considered regular users. These “residents” can explore, socialise, and participate in activities and services using Second Life’s currency, the Linden Dollar. “Dublin” in Second Life is a well-established destination – frequently making the Top Ten list of the most popular places to visit there.
As well as the first virtual St Patrick’s Day parade, Tourism Ireland will organise a range of events and activities during the St Patrick’s festivities in Second Life’s replica city of Dublin. Events will include a live broadcast of the largest ever contemporary Irish music expo – “Snakes and Ladders” – from the World Financial Center in New York; a treasure hunt which will involve visitors exploring Dublin to find clues that will enable them to collect points and win prizes (clues are located on www.discoverireland.com); as well as live bands and DJs.
The virtual cruise ship the “SS Galaxy” will visit Dublin during the festivities and will host an onboard digital exhibition of Irish artists’ work. Guided helicopter and bus tours of Dublin in Second Life will take place throughout the weekend, giving visitors historical information on the many famous Dublin landmarks that are recreated in Second Life.
Mark Henry, Tourism Ireland’s Central Marketing Director, said: “We are very excited about the world’s first virtual St Patrick’s Day parade – it’s an innovative and interesting way to present the island of Ireland as an attractive holiday destination to a new audience. Once they have experienced the simulated Ireland, we hope these potential visitors will come and see the real thing.”
Anyone can join in the St Patrick’s Festivities by getting a free Second Life account through www.secondlife.com or at the virtual Dublin website: http://www.dublinsl.com
For more information on travel in the Island of Ireland visit www.discoverireland.com