Friday 11 March will mark the beginning of the St Patrick’s Festival 2016, which will see thousands of visitors descend on Newry Mourne and Down District and Downpatrick in the heart of St Patrick’s Country.
There will be a wide range of events and activities for everyone to enjoy which will take place in both Downpatrick and Newry through to Saturday 19 March 2016.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council is pulling out all the stops to ensure a great time will be had by all, with a fun packed programme on offer including Irish bands, Irish dancers, music and dance shows, arts and cultural performances, re-enactments, choral performances, walking and pilgrimage events, film launches and much more. The Festival’s theme for 2016 is ‘Feasts and Wild Beasts’ and everyone will be encouraged to get into the festival atmosphere by dressing up to celebrate.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane, said: “The Festival has a fun-packed programme to offer over the nine days ranging from the best sought after Irish bands in the country, terrific Irish dancers, various music and dance shows, arts and cultural performances, re-enactments, choral performances, walking and pilgrimage events and film launches with many of these being recorded and broadcast around the world online and across USA television networks.”
The Council have secured additional funding from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) to help improve upon many aspects of the festival, such as the spectacle of parades in both Newry and Downpatrick, in order to boost the attractiveness for tourism to the district.
Chairperson Cllr Ruane added: “It is fantastic to have secured additional financial support to help deliver the Festival from OFMDFM. This will be used to develop the festival as an attractor to the area, working with the community to enhance the spectacle in Newry City and Downpatrick and to promote our patron saint to the Irish Diasporas across the world, particularly in the USA. We thank the department for their support in this regard”.
The official launch of the Festival will take place closer to the time and will outline the full programme of events and activities taking place in Downpatrick and Newry.