Major celebration of St Patrick gets underway

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Major celebration of St Patrick gets underway thumbnailAll ready for the start of the Home of St Patrick Festival

A major three-week festival celebrating Ireland's Patron Saint got underway on Friday, with a programme of activity across counties Armagh and Down.
The Home of St Patrick Festival will bring a welcoming mix of Irish and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy to showcase the stunning locations where St Patrick walked and worked.
The opening event on Friday was a spiritual sunset musical performance by Aboriginal musicians at the historic The Mound of Down. The musicians, who flew in specially for the performance, are among hundreds of musicians, entertainers and acts taking part in the 17-day festival.
International performers include The Secret Ensemble, an eight-strong musical collaboration of expert artists from Turkey, Iran and the Middle East, and Elif Shafak, Turkey's most widely read female writer and a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, New York Times and La Repubblica.
The programme features solo performers such as Grainne Duffy, Belfast's own Grainne Holland and opera singer Ruby Philogene MBE who has performed in London, Berlin, Brussels and with the San Francisco Opera Company.
There are groups and bands covering all genres and styles of music including Cork-based Blues and roots band One Horse Pony, the folk-gothic, all-female, five-piece Wookalily.
Renowned performers, artists, guest speakers and visionaries from around the world will lift the spirit and provide food for thought, exploring the values of struggle, emotion and humanity in a variety of events with discussion and conversation including Memoirs and Confessions, the St Patrick's Lecture, Saul Address and A Way For Seeing.
After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2016, the collaboration between Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough and Newry, Mourne and Down District Councils will provide an arts and culture extravaganza that will provide inspiration, entertainment, and reflection around the life of St Patrick.
Town centres will come alive with colour and noise as fantastic carnival processions make their way through Armagh, Newry and Downpatrick on St Patrick's Day itself, bringing communities from across the region together in a celebration of local talent, dance and entertainment.
For more information and the full programme of events visit


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