Street magic, a trad disco and a love parade are just some of the wacky events on offer at Culture Night Belfast.
The annual arts event is back for a fourth time, with organisers promising it will be a big, bright and bold fun night for all.
On September 21, Culture Night Belfast (CNB) 2012 will see the streets and byways of the city’s Cathedral Quarter area and beyond transform to provide a unique evening of entertainment.
The CNB 2012 programme was launched yesterday, with highlights including a Belfast Film Festival screening of Star Wars Uncut and a transatlantic diner link-up between Blinkers in Bridge Street and a New York diner.
Belfast Festival at Queen’s will be putting on a mini-festival, in Mini cars, and more family fun includes face painting, a Ukulele Hootenanny, a Perspex Pyramid and wandering wacky street performers.
And gird your spiritual loins and prepare for some restorative meditation thanks to Meditation Flash Mob — an on-the-spot event on the steps of St Anne’s Cathedral. Just perfect if the noise and colour of the night all prove a bit too much.
Between 4pm and 10pm, more than 20,000 people are expected to visit Belfast’s galleries, studios, historic buildings and restaurants for free performances, events, talks and tours.
CNB 2012 manager Adam Turkington said that as the evening unfolds the city centre will become a vast, colourful canvas for everyone to enjoy.
“Culture Night Belfast has really hit its stride this year and that's reflected in the unprecedented number of submissions and ideas we received from participants,” Mr Turkington said.
“The trick was getting them all into the programme, but I’m delighted to say we didn’t turn anybody away.
“Four years on, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Culture Night Belfast has become ‘the people's celebration’ — a huge and inclusive showcase that brilliantly captures the essence of ‘our time, our place’,” he added.
Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said Culture Night Belfast is “unmissable” and Eddie Rowan, Northern Ireland Tourist Board events manager, described it is a highlight of the annual events calendar, |providing visitors and locals with a “unique and memorable” experience.
The centrepiece, a 60s-inspired Love and Peace Parade, will take place on Donegall Street throughout the evening to mark World Peace Day, also September 21.
One plucky fella all set for Culture Night
Culture Night Belfast is coming back this year bigger and better than ever.
The city's largest, most colourful and inclusive cultural celebration is ready once more to completely transform the city, indoors and out, for a magical evening of adventure on Friday, September 21.
Last year more than 150 organisations and individuals got involved, performing and opening up venues to people across the city centre and beyond.
Culture Night 2012 promises to be even bigger and better, with a host of galleries, artists studios, historic buildings, cultural organisations, churches, restaurants and many more throwing open their doors to the public to enjoy free performances, events, talks and tours.
There will be also be a varied range of activities outside, making the fourth Culture Night an interactive extravaganza for all.
There are plans for a Love Parade which will take place on Donegall Street in the evening to mark World Peace Day, which also falls on September 21.
Other events include the Transatlantic Diner — a live link-up between local eatery Blinkers and a New York diner — and the Belfast Film Festival's screening of the fan-sourced Star Wars Uncut.
The Forum for Alternative Belfast and NI Opera will transform the beautiful Tivoli Barber Shop once more with excerpts from Sweeney Todd.
Elsewhere, there’s a Meditation Flash Mob on the loose, a mysterious Street of Magic, a Perspex Pyramid and Belfast vs the Flying Saucers.
All Culture Night events are free and open to everyone.
For further information on the events go to www.culturenightbelfast.com