District gears up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

March 13, 2017

As towns and cities across the country gear up for the annual celebrations of Ireland’s patron saint, Ti Chullain is set to host its third St. Patrick’s Day Community Festival, with events running throughout this week in the build up to the big family fun day on St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the highlights of the week will be Una Walsh’s virtual tour of South Armagh and the Ring of Gullion which takes place in Ti Chullain Centre on Thursday 16th March at 8pm.  Admission is free to the event which will showcase the most impressive sights and monuments the Ring of Gullion has to offer and the tales, myths and legends associated with the area.

The St. Patrick’s Day Community Festival kicks off its third year of celebrations on Friday with the “Our Sense of Place” themed parade from Mullaghbawn GFC at 11.30am.

The community festival has grown from strength to strength over the years, involving organisations, community groups and families from all over south Armagh. The family fun day will be packed with activities for children of all ages and will celebrate local culture, talents and achievements throughout the day. The event has also been a successful fundraiser for local charities, with this year’s beneficiaries being Meningitis Research foundations and the Alzheimer’s society.

Traditional Irish Stew and refreshments will be available to purchase from 1pm with all proceeds going to these worthy causes. From 3pm revellers will be treated to a traditional Irish music and dance show with the Traditional Arts Partnership, Rooney O’Malley Maguire School of Dance and special performances from local Scor groups.

Throughout the day there will be live music with the Molly Maguires welcoming everyone after the Parade has reached Ti Chullainn and the Paddywagon band taking over the musical entertainment from 5pm.

Everyone is invited to the fun filled day of live music, entertainment, bouncy castles, face painting and many more fun activities for all the family!

Meanwhile in Newry festivities kick off on St. Patrick’s Day with the annual Cross Community Carnival Parade which departs the Quays Shopping Centre at 12 noon.  The centrepiece of the celebrations will be a spectacular cavalcade of floats, bands, fancy dress and lots of attractions with this year’s theme, “Myths and Legends”.  A variety of family activities are on offer on the day with the Museum hosting a clay arts and crafts workshop for children on Friday morning from 10am to 11.30am.   Entertainment at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre includes traditional music by the Sonas Harp Ensemble and Henry McDonald and Friends from 1pm to 3pm, with free children’s arts and crafts workshops and entertainment.

Family fun continues throughout the day on Hill Street with Irish dancing, tribal drummers, face painting, stalls and much more, with an open air concert featuring Oisin McCann and Friends, Those Guys and the HouseM8s.

With Cullens funfair back on Albert Basin all this week and open throughout St. Patrick’s Day, this year’s events across the district are shaping up to be bigger and better than ever!