The Home of St Patrick Festival is in full swing with a global programme of local and international music, theatre, sport, spoken word and spirituality taking place throughout Newry Mourne and Down.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Rosin Mulgrew, said: “An array of historical events, musical performances, family fun days, sporting events and cross-community carnivals are being hosted in many iconic locations, cultural landmarks and sites of historical interest across the district, all of which have been designed to highlight the significance of St Patrick’s influence on the region and pay homage to his life, work and teachings.
“After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2017, this year’s Home of Saint Patrick Festival will continue to deliver an arts and culture extravaganza that will ensure that our local and international visitors can join with the wider community to celebrate St Patrick in his adopted homeland. Make sure you pick up a programme from any of our Visitor Information Centres or download it from our website and don’t miss out on these very special events.”
One of the highlights of this year’s festival is ‘Flutes, Pipes and Drums’ on Thursday 15 March at Annalong Community Centre. The evening will be curated and compered by TV and BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Pipes and Drums’ presenter, Mark Wilson and incorporate some of the finest marching and concert bands in the country.
Come along and enjoy world class pipe band drumming and a special percussion performance by former Northern Ireland Young Musician of the year, Craig Lutton, and the Percussion Ensemble from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music, London.
Throughout St Patrick’s Day, the region will come alive with colour and noise as fantastic carnival processions make their way through Newry and Downpatrick. Local communities will come together with visitors to the region in a celebration of local talent, dance and entertainment. Free family fun activities will also take place throughout the day in both locations, for everyone to enjoy.
This year’s Closing Concert takes its inspiration from St Patrick, writing in his Confession that it was ‘the voice of the Irish’ which called him to return and introduce Christianity to Ireland.
The Concert will be performed by the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland in Newry Town Hall on Saturday 17 March at 7.30pm. The Orchestra comprises of up to 100 young musicians from across Ireland who will stage a light hearted programme of popular songs, movie themes and classics interspersed with readings and performances by some of Ireland’s leading actors and musicians.
This will be a unique and fitting finale to the 10 day Festival, which will showcase today’s ‘voice of the Irish’.