On the grapevine - August 11
See the sun this summer
We may not have seen much of it this summer, but the sun is our nearest star, and a very special one, as without it there would be no life on Earth.
The Irish Astronomical Association will be holding another of its very popular 'Solar Days' at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Castle Espie, near Comber, on Sunday August 15, from 2pm to 5pm.
A selection of powerful special solar telescopes, binoculars etc to view the sun in complete safety will be available to use. These will give views in the wavelengths of ordinary visible light, and also in the special hydrogen wavelength of H-Alpha.
If the sky is clear, it may be possible to see sunspots and huge prominences, or gigantic 'flames' of burning hydrogen, many times bigger than the Earth.
There will also be a planetarium, an exhibition, and advice on telescopes and binoculars generally. So even if it's cloudy, it will be a very interesting afternoon.
For more details see www.irishastro.org
This year the Holiday Bible Club at Donaghadee Methodist Church will run from Monday, August 23 to Friday, August 27, from 10am to 12noon.
Children between P1 and P7 will be welcome. The club will use the Scripture Union's ‘Rocky's Plaice' material.
Registration forms will be available on their website, but in the meantime if you wish to log your interest please use the contact form on the website www.donaghadeemethodist.com
From coach tours to children’s crafts, Ards is set to showcase its creativity once again this month.
Dozens of artists and craftspeople who live and work in the Ards borough will be taking part in this year’s ‘Creative Peninsula’, and exhibiting their work at venues across Ards.
Workshops and taster sessions, which give members of the public the opportunity to try their creative hand at anything from charcoal portraiture to ceramics, calligraphy and celtic art, are also on offer.
The Creative Peninsula will run until Sunday, August 15. Brochures are available from Ards and Portaferry Tourist Information Centres, Ards Crafts or Ards Arts Centre.
To book a workshop or for further information, Tel: 028 9182 6846 or visit www.creativepeninsula.info.
Jitterbug round the clock
This Saturday, August 14, Jitterbug Jackson returns to the McKee Clock area to perform his comedic antics from 3pm to 5pm.
Then in Ward Park on Sunday August 15, from 3pm to 5pm, take a seat on a deckchair for a one-off creative masterpiece, the 'Kind Of Blue' musical open air theatre show — based on the fabulous jazz album of the same name.
On both days in the same place learn a few circus skills with the Open Circus Workshop — great fun to be had by all.
For more information, call 9127 0069 or visit www.northdowntourism.com
Every Friday in August between 12noon and 2pm you can enjoy a variety of music to suit all tastes in the Castle Garden Restaurant, North Down Museum.
The event is free. For more information contact North Down Museum on (028) 9127 1200, www.northdowntourism.com.
A giant jazz fest
Shake out your picnic rug, pack your parasol and hamper and mosey down to Mount Stewart on August 14 for an evening of giant proportions.
Music from the Martello Jazz Band and Bill Cheney and the Bourbon Swing Jazz Band will provide the soundtrack to your evening as you relax in the spectacular surroundings of Mount Stewart. The event is a fundraiser for the National Trust campaign, A Giant Cause, to raise funds for the North Coast World Heritage Site.
To date over £600,000 has been raised as part of the £2 million needed to complete the project.
The funds raised will go towards a new visitor centre, restoring the headland, building new car parks and ensuring the conservation and protection of the Causeway for future generations.
Tickets are priced at £5 and are available in advance from Mount Stewart and all other National Trust properties.
For further information, please contact Mount Stewart on 028 4278 8387.
Walk through the ages
This Sunday, August 15, why not let your feet do the walking and take part in the Holywood Through the Ages guided walk.
Departing from outside the Maypole Bar in Holywood town centre at 2.30pm, the walk covers the town’s colourful history including the Motte where King John is said to have spent the night, to the rich ecclesiastical and educational history associated with Holywood.
It also touches on the characters of the town including the Praegers and Robert Sullivan.
This tour will last approximately one and a half hours.
The walk is free but is on a ticket only basis — limited to 25 persons on a first come first served basis.
For information and tickets, call 9127 0069 or www.northdowntourism.com.