X FACTOR wannabe Sophie Habibis will lead the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Belfast, it has been confirmed.
The singer — who was controversially axed in round four of last year’s show — is to headline a concert at Custom House Square on March 17.
Also included in the line-up are The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Ashelin and Shake, traditional music group Pure Blarney and dancers from the Royal Tara School of Irish Dancing and Bright Lights Ulster-Scots dance school.
A St Patrick’s parade, organised by The Beat Carnival, will snake its way from Belfast City Hall at noon to Custom House Square ahead of the free concert.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Niall O Donnghaile said that he hoped it would be a fun-filled family day out.
“The theme of this year’s event is ‘2012 — one amazing year’. Belfast is in for a massive year of celebrations and important milestones and this will be the city’s first big party of 2012,” he said.
Habibis said that she was delighted to be part of the city’s celebrations.
“It’ll be my first visit to Belfast ... I’ve heard that there’s a real buzz about the city so I can’t wait to experience that,” she added.