Festival marks Titanic anniversary
Special commemorative services, vigil marches and the opening of a £77 million visitor's centre are among the highlights of the three-week Titanic festival at the city where the vessel was built.
An inter-faith remembrance service will be held at Belfast City Hall on April 15 and is expected to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of people. A memorial garden will be unveiled at the site where bronze plaques bear the names of those who lost their lives.
This will be the culmination of days of festivities and remembrance which began last Saturday with the opening of Titanic Belfast, a towering visitor's attraction overlooking the slipways and featuring a replica of the ship's famous staircase for business guests plus four floors of exhibitions for day-trippers.
A light show will be held at the slipways on April 7 and on April 13 MTV will present Titanic Sounds at Titanic Belfast. Olly Murs and Sean Paul will be among the performers.
On the night of the sinking, April 14, there will be a requiem for the lost passengers and crew of the Titanic at St Anne's Church of Ireland cathedral in the city centre, followed by a candle-lit procession to the memorial garden at Belfast City Hall.
In the nearby Waterfront Hall there will be a commemoration in music and film, featuring the story of the legendary liner, those who built her and those who died.
The following morning will be the 100th anniversary city hall service involving an orchestra and male voice choirs. The Titanic Memorial Garden will be officially opened following the service.
That afternoon there will be another requiem at the Catholic St Peter's Cathedral in Belfast and a commemoration at St Anne's, following which clergy and guests will walk the short distance to the Titanic graving dock where the vessel was built.
On April 22 the MAC arts centre in Belfast will open its doors for the first time with a production of Scenes from the British Wreck Commissioners' Inquiry, 1912. The cast will retell the survivors' story with dialogue from the 100-year-old testimonies.
A bronze statue has also been launched of three "yardmen" who built the Titanic at Harland and Wolff shipyard, in east Belfast, with the cranes of the shipyard visible in the background. Photographic and artistic exhibitions linked to the tragedy are also running to coincide with the centenary.