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Thousands celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with lively carnival atmosphere

Thousands celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with lively carnival atmosphere

Donning their leprechaun hats are (L-R) Mandy Cafolla, Bernie Weir and Estelle Cafolla-Conway

Staff Reporter

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Staff Reporter

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newsdesk@ulstergazette.co.uk

THOUSANDS  of visitors turned out across Armagh and Down to enjoy a carnival atmosphere as part of the annual Home of Saint Patrick Festival, which has taken place across both counties.

The annual spectacular saw Armagh, Newry and Downpatrick brought to life with colour and noise in amazing displays of local and international talent, dance and entertainment.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson, said the festival is a colourful and fun-filled highlight of the Borough’s events calendar:

“This year marks another successful festival for Armagh and Down and I’m delighted to have seen so many people come out to enjoy the numerous events as taking place part of the twelve-day programme. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to experience the amazing flavour of art, music, spoken word and spirituality which the festival provides, to check out the remaining events and come along.”

Over the past twelve days, the region has been alive with the spirit of Ireland’s patron saint in a celebration of his life, work and influence.

The global programme has already brought international music, theatre and sport to many of the iconic locations throughout the two counties, with several festival events still to take place on Sunday 18th and Monday, 19th March, for locals, visitors and tourists to enjoy.

Roisin Mulgrew, Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said the festival offered a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors alike to explore and celebrate the region’s history and culture:

“Every year the festival gets even better, with increasing numbers of events catering for a wide range of interests across arts, culture, food, sports and entertainment. This year’s festival was no different, with a programme bursting with amazing events right across the district. We’re delighted to have been able to support and deliver such a wide variety of events and look forward to making it even bigger and brighter next year.”

Closing events include a dramatic reading of Seamus Heaney’s Station Island at Down Arts Centre on 18th March; Food & Walking Tours on March 18th which will follow St Patrick’s footsteps around Armagh City, exploring links to fish, Nigeria and Ireland in the 5th Century with specially selected culinary delicacies and beverages; and a free Family Day at Solitude Park, Banbridge on Monday 19th March with live music, workshops and entertainment.

For more information and details of remaining events, go to www.homeofstpatrickfestival.com

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