Derry City Council launched the St Patricks Day Spring Celebrations today - a full programme of family fun events and activities, indoor and outdoor live music, media and dance and the annual carnival, planned to take place during week long celebrations.
The Mayor, Alderman Maurice Devenney, unveiled the exciting programme of events revolving around the theme 'Voyage of Discovery' today in the city centre.
“The focus on 2012 is to provide a family programme around the St Patrick’s Day Celebrations, alongside which there will be events planned at the start of March onwards designed to bring fun, music and a sense of community," he said. "The highlight will be on the Saturday itself, when the city will come alive with the sound of music and the spectacle of the themed Carnival.
Over 900 participants from 90 community and voluntary groups are gearing up for the event in an effort to surpass the Carnival of last year - the expectations are high. Organised by the North West Carnival Initiative, the ‘Voyage of Discovery’ theme promises to offer colourful floats, music and dance in its representation of the city’s aviation and maritime history combining the past voyages and explorations which have lead to discovery of our forests, oceans, rainforests and beyond.
The origin of the Carnival theme this year links the city’s journey as it gets ready to welcome the Clipper Homecoming Maritime Festival in June and continues its drive towards the UK City of Culture 2013 preparations. A strong traditional Irish music theme will also be intertwined as Derry-Londonderry gets ready for the musical festival of a lifetime in hosting the All Ireland Fleadh 2013.
The Carnival will leave the Council car park at 2.30pm where it will meander its way through the city, offering a trail of music and events, guided by majestic walk about performers who will entertain as you and the family enjoy the fun and festivities, celebration and magical sights along the way.
The Guildhall square will offer live music from 12.30pm with children’s entertainment including face-painters, balloon modellers and a themed magic show, the Walled City Market will be present providing a speciality retail and food experience. All this will be taking place with the backdrop of the
Big Screen on Waterloo place for Sports enthusiasts – and will be showing the Six Nations Ireland V’s England match live, activities here will be running both before and after the parade, including games of bungee rugby and full swing rides.
Moving on into Waterloo place, a tent will host a themed Olympic Torch Relay and Clipper Craft Workshop in preparation for both Festivals this summer. Continuing up to Shipquay st and across the Peace Bridge, the Craft Village and Ebrington will also host traditional music, food and activities for all the family.
Alongside the Council programme there will be a range of events starting with Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish language Week) at venues across the city beginning on March 6.
On March 17 The Gasyard will host a morning of arts and crafts, traditional entertainment, face painting, Céilí and sports events for varying ages.
The City of Drama Festival will be screened at the Waterside Theatre and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin will host a St Patricks Day shindig starting early in the day on 17 march and a Céilí house to bring you well into the night.
The official St Patrick’s Day Carnival programme is currently available online at www.derrycity.gov.uk/stpatricksday. For more information contact (028) 71376545