Shamrocks, shenanigans and Spirngtime in Wonderland are expected to feature at this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Londonderry, it has been announced.
Derry City Council will be painting the town green at the annual St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival with a programme of events running from Thursday March 11th to Thursday March 18.
Highlights, announced at yesterday’s launch include concerts, dancing, celtic characters and storytelling and the annual parade.
On the day itself, Wednesday, March 17, Victoria Market Car Park will be the location of the main stage this year and is a designated alcohol-free zone.
Families will be able to enjoy entertainment from 1pm to 4.30pm as legendary Country and Irish recording star Susan McCann takes to the stage with her band.
The day will see performances by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Traditional Irish Group and Harmonicity, a 16-piece multicultural musical group. There will also be Irish dancing displays by local dancing schools.
The successful carnival parade returns this year with a Springtime in Wonderland theme.
The North West Carnival Initiative, in partnership with Derry City Council and funded through the Arts Council NI, have been working with more than 20 local community and school groups to produce spectacular depictions, including an Old Irish Cottage, Alice in Wonderland and the Children of Lir story.
Accompanied by colourful samba and marching bands, the parade aims to deliver a spectacle for all to enjoy between 2.30pm and 4.00pm.
Visitors to Guildhall Square, Magazine Street and the City Walls on both March 13 and on St Patrick’s Day will be able to meet heroes and heroines of Ireland, who are coming to the city in search of St Patrick himself.
Legendary tales of these mythical characters will be relayed, with performances at 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm.
The Tower Museum meanwhile will be welcoming families looking for a day filled with St Patrick’s themed fun, and are offering a special admission rate of just £1.
Storytelling and arts and crafts workshops will be held between noon and 2pm and then 4pm and 6pm and there is also a special, free screening of classic family film Darby O’Gill and the Little People in its cinema.
The fun will also spill out into the Craft Village, with mythical storytelling, face painting and balloon modelling as well as performances by Inishowen Gospel Choir at 4pm and 5pm pm.
The Shared City Project is having A Celebration of Irish Culture event on St Patrick’s Day from 10am to 2.30pm.
The project offers a range of family oriented events at the Old Clondermott School, with traditional Irish crafts and cooking, storytelling, music, dance and outdoor activities.
Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, the city’s Irish language arts and cultural centre on Great James Street will be a hive of activity over in the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day. It will host a Youth Céilí for Gaelscoil pupils in primaries 4 to 7 on March 12 and traditional Irish music on St Patrick’s night.