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Carnival of colour parades through Belfast

By Gary Grattan

Belfast was awash with colour on Saturday afternoon as the annual Belfast City Carnival weaved its way along the streets.

Click here to watch the Belfast City Carnival

As the theme this year tied in with the International Year of Astronomy, there were quite a few astronauts and aliens amongst the floats — not to mention at least one ‘Man in Black’ and a Cyberman.

The carnival officially introduced new Alliance lord mayor Naomi Long to the people of Belfast.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” she said.

“It’s just so colourful and so vibrant. It’s a fantastic day for this city, a real family day when people can come out and really enjoy themselves.

“I'm so impressed with the amount of work which has gone into all of the costumes. It’s incredible.”

Twin sisters Karen and Claire Gibson were among hundreds of people taking part in the parade.

“Our costumes are amazing although I must admit they are a bit heavy,” Karen said.

Claire explained that they were taking part along with dozens of others recruited by the Belfast Beat Initiative.

“Its always a fantastic day. A lot of people have put a lot of effort in to make this such a great spectacle,” she said.

Sarah Little from Antrim said she got involved as she had been working with the organisers.

“We’ve been working with the various community groups getting them into their costumes and giving them advice on how they should walk during the parade. It’s been great fun,” she said.

Other acts which took part in events throughout the day included the Love Music Hate Racism, Homely Planet Radio Station, Ruby Colley, The Jane Bradfords, The Afresh, the Big Funky Carnival Band, the Ulster-Scots Folk Orchestra, St Malachy’s Bodhran Players and Beat’n’Drum.

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