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In Pictures: St Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland

By Amy Ryan

What's on and where for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations?

BELFAST

Belfast will celebrate the green holiday with a spring-themed parade from City Hall to Custom House Square led by deputy Lord Mayor Danny Lavery. The parade will feature up to 1,000 participantsand is set to be a visual treat of huge floral bouquets and exotic butterflies. The event will continue with an open air concert at Custom House Square headlined by MOBO award winner Chipmunk and X Factor finalist Ruth Lorenzo. For more information contact the Belfast Welcome Centre on 02890 246609.

DOWNPATRICK

Downpatrick, the reputed burial site of the patron saint, is also set to celebrate the day in style with a spectacular calvacade of floats, bands and fancy dress with the theme of The Sun, Moon and the Stars. People are being encouraged to hop on board the steam train at Inch station for a scenic journey to the carnival or for the best views of Down Cathedral, the grave of St Patrick and the ruins of the 12th century Inch Abbey. The festival programme is available online at www.downdc.gov.uk or by contacting Downpatrick Tourist Information Centre on 02844 612233.

LONDONDERRY

Derry is renowned for pulling out all the stops on St Patrick’s Day. A carnival parade with the theme Springtime in Wonderland will make its way through the city accompanied by lively samba and marching bands. Depictions of scenes from Alice in Wonderland will adorn the floats. Musical entertainment will include Irish and country star Susan McCann and the multi-cultural drumming circle Harmonicity. Further information can be obtained by calling 02871 376545.

ENNISKILLEN

Enniskillen museum is hosting a day of traditional food, crafts and family fun. People will have the chance to turn their hand to weaving, pottery, carving and cookery while the kids are entertained with fun activities. The main celebrations will take place outside the town at Cavanacarragh. Pipe and silver bands will lead the parade featuring cheerleaders, Mummers, rally cars and vintage tractors. After the parade dancers will perform while the kids enjoy bouncy castles, face painting and balloon making. For Enniskillen museum events call 02866 325000; for parade details,contact Liam Cox on 07919334416.

OMAGH

The message in Omagh tomorrow will be St Patrick — A Man for All. An open air concert will provide three hours of lively entertainment with a mix of traditional and contemporary Irish and Scottish music and dancing. The concert will also feature up-and-coming band Beoga. For more information contact Coleen McCann on 02882 245321 ext 405.

ARMAGH

The Cathredral City has focused celebrations this year on the legacy of St Patrick. With an expected 1,000 participants Armagh’s parade will be the most extravagant yet. Entertainment will provided by Armagh Scor winners Scoile Rince and the Thin Lizzy tribute band, Tinn Lizzy. Details are available online at www.armagh.co.uk or by phoning 02837 521800.

COLERAINE

Coleraine town centre will come alive as Venue i perform their unique style of traditional Irish music. The Belfast-based band have played all over Ireland and have wowed audiences with their energy, skill and enthusiasm for music. For additional information contact Coleraine Borough Council on 0287 0347034.

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