Friday 15 December 2017 06:25:37 AM

Lough Lively to Brighten Up the Early Summer Months
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Lough Lively, the annual summer festival celebrating the beauty and uniqueness of  Strangford Lough and Lecale, once again begins on Wednesday 1 May running through to Monday 3 June 2013 with an array of exciting events.

Down District Council in partnership with Ards Borough Council have produced a feast of over 80 events, exhibitions, workshops, tours, activities, attractions as part of the Lough Lively programme.

A beautiful sunset over Strangford Lough.

A beautiful sunset over Strangford Lough.

Councillor Mickey Coogan, Chairperson of Down District Council,  in launching the festival said: “This programme will appeal to everyone from families to the outdoor adventurer and will give everyone an opportunity to gain an authentic experience of Strangford Lough as a tourism destination.”

On May bank holidays  there will be Steam Engine specials at Downpatrick and County Down Railway when you will have a chance to escape the hubbub of work and relax in a slower pace of life. While at Down Arts Centre on Friday 17 May there will be a live performance by Northern Irish singer  Juliet Turner with a playlist of some of her classics and from her new album.

The Murder Mystery Night in Down County Museum on Saturday 11 May is sure to put frighteners on you when you will have the opportunity to meet some very shady characters and uncover the secrets of all the suspects.

Ballynahinch International Carriage Drive Festival is on Saturday 25 May starting at the Langley Road Playing Fields from 8.30am. This is always a great family day out for everyone with horses, carriages and carts! While at Delamont Country Park the May Bank Holiday (Monday 27 May) Activity Shindig will get into swing from 12.30pm and is sure to keep everyone fit with the opportunity to ‘try five activities’ that the whole family can enjoy.

Downpatrick Race Course presents ‘A little bit of Country’ Race Meeting on Friday 10 May. There will be live music after the races with Susan McCann and her band from 9.00 – 11.00pm, so hunt out your cowboy hat and mosey on down to the Racecourse!

Following the tremendous success in 2012, this year the International Bread Festival at Castle Ward is now a three-day extraganza.

Down District Council Councillor Mickey Coogan launches the Lough LIvely festival for 2013.

Down District Council Councillor Mickey Coogan launches the Lough LIvely festival for 2013.

On Saturday 25 May the Bread Day has all the favourites from last year with celebrity chefs Nick Nairn and Paul Rankin to battle against each other testing their culinary skills, while U105 will keep you entertained with great music and craic with Carolyn Stewart and Julian Simmons. From From 5.00pm U105 DJ Maurice Jay will host the evening event, providing musical entertainment with his throw back to the 80’s band, Pleasuredome, who will perform favourite hits from the era.

On Sunday 26 May,  Van Morrison will treat us all to a spectacular open air concert. With this his first outdoor concert in Down for many years, it will surely be a real treat to hear Van perform. He is arguably our greatest musical superstar with a career spanning five decades , perform  a playlist which is sure to include so all time favourites along with tracks from  his latest album, Born to Sing: No Plan B.

To complete the festival weekend, bikes from across Ireland are encouraged to get their motorbikes, push bikes and vintage bikes and tour around Strangford Lough for the third festival day on Monday 27 May. Bikers can complete their ride by relaxing on the front lawn at Castle Ward while listening to the amazing sounds of the ‘Illegal Eagles’ and local girls the ‘Wildflowers’ as they perform in an afternoon open air concert

Don’t miss the Strangford Lough Maritime Festival on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June which includes ancient and modern maritime traditions and includes great events such as The Vikings are Coming, Guided Sea Shore Safari, Craft Fair, Taste of the Lough, Heritage Boart Tours, Geology Talk, Forage Strangford and Guided Seal Watch….in fact, too many to mention!

With over 80 events through the Festival, don’t forget to pick up a FREE copy of the Festival Programme by contacting the Festival Office on 028 4461 2233 or check out the full event listings online by visiting www.visitstrangfordlough.co.uk | www.facebook.com/DownFestivals.