A packed calendar of events makes Belfast the place to be in 2012
Published 02/01/2012 | 00:00
A bumper 2012 lies in store for Northern Ireland with a host of memorable events in the pipeline.
Northern Ireland will play its part in the 2012 Olympic Games with local athletes showcasing their talents in front of a global audience.
There will be a role to play in launching the games too, in the run-up to the showpiece sporting event. The Olympic flame arrives in Belfast on June 3, 2012 with relay runners carrying it to more than 60 towns and villages across the province, as well as a number of beauty spots.
Torch-bearers will carry the flame over Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and it will also cross Lough Neagh and the River Bann.
The flame will be carried by 8,000 torch-bearers during its 70-day journey around the UK, which begins when it arrives at Land's End from Greece on May 18.
The Queen's Jubilee celebrations are sure to be toasted by many across Northern Ireland in June, with a number of councils and community groups planning to mark the milestone with events in Her Majesty's honour.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as part of the celebrations.
The Titanic centenary is set to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors in April, and will ensure Belfast is a Mecca for enthusiasts of the famous ship.
And Northern Ireland is again set to welcome an influx of music heavyweights this year.
MTV is coming back for an event to be beamed live from the new Titanic Centre.
Kings of Leon, Nicole Scherzinger, Blink 182, Van Morrison, Andrea Bocelli and Lord of the Dance are just some of the acts set to take the stage in front of local audiences.
Snow Patrol will perform three sell-out shows at the Odyssey Arena.
At the same venue in February the Irish Indoor Athletics Championships take place.
In March, Belfast city centre and Custom House Square will host St Patrick's Day events including a parade and carnival. The celebrations attract all sections of the community and have proved a roaring success.
The Lord Mayor's Parade in June is also certain to prove a big draw, as is the European Pipe Band Championships which take place in the same month at Stormont.
Charity fundraisers and committed runners will be side-by-side - at least to begin with - at the Belfast City Marathon in May and at the end of the month the Spring Continental Market will take place at City Hall.
July will see the marching season come to a head with demonstrations on the Twelfth currently being planned.
And in August, the British Transplant Games come to Belfast with events being held at various venues in the city.