The Light Show
Armagh will once again celebrate its storied past this November with its four-day Georgian Festival. Newly extended to reflect the event’s ongoing success and continued growth, Armagh is ready to welcome visitors over the long weekend to enjoy and experience the variety of interesting, fun-filled Georgian-themed events, activities and things to see and do, unrivalled on the island of Ireland.
A fantastic schedule of events from Thursday 22nd – Sunday 25th November promises entertainment, education and excitement for the whole family, with thousands continuing to mark their diaries for the landmark ‘Georgian Day’ on Saturday November 25th and the unmissable “City of Wonder” Light Show that evening.
The 2018 Rokeby Lecture opens the Festival programme on the Thursday evening in the Robinson Library when Professor Tim Wilks will showcase the Archbishop’s unique gem collection of the time.
Friday has afternoon teas and a ghoulish guided walking tour of the city. That evening the Church of Ireland Cathedral will host ‘The Piper and the Faerie Queen’, a performance inspired by fantastical literary works of the 17th century and performed by Camerata Kilkenny and David Power.
Undoubtedly a highlight of the schedule is the Great Georgian Banquet on Friday, 23rd November at the Archbishop’s Palace which will transport guests to an 18th Century Venetian ball with a sumptuous five-course meal from chef Simon Dougan and The Yellow Door with court music and entertainment through the night.
Steeped in stunning architectural heritage, the city streets will come alive on Georgian Day itself, Saturday 24th November, with animated characters from a bygone age performing traditional music and theatre, and the sound of carol singers and horse drawn carriages echoing through the beautiful streets and cobbled laneways.
A range of unique and exclusive walking tours will immerse visitors and locals in gripping tales of yore, gore and ghouls, while iconic landmarks of the Armagh cityscape such as the Courthouse, the Palace and the County Club will open their doors to bring the city’s Georgian past to life.
Traditional skills and crafts will be on display including silhouette cutting, wax sealing and calligraphy, while specially curated themed events will provide fascinating insights to how the world worked in the 1700s.
Recently crowned one of the Top Five Foodie Destinations in the whole of Ireland, Armagh’s Georgian Festival will celebrate the region’s culinary creativity with an artisan market and hot food village and standout events including a gin school, wine tasting and afternoon teas.
To close the 2018 Festival, a series of tours and experiences throughout Sunday will fully immerse visitors in the region’s historical heritage. This includes the ‘Hidden Gems’ coach tour which will take guests to both Crannagael House and Dean’s Hill private residences to meet the owners and learn more about the fascinating histories of both properties.
Councillor Julie Flaherty, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, said;
“This whole Borough area is rich in heritage and history and this festival event brings to life Armagh’s matchless Georgian legacy.
“Drawing to a close another bumper year of fantastic and popular events that have covered everything from art, music and poetry to food and cider, this year’s Georgian Festival truly has something for everyone to enjoy.
“We urge all who will visit Armagh during the festival weekend to come hungry to learn, to be amazed and, most importantly, to revel in our past.”
To view the full festival programme and for more details, go to www.visitarmagh.co.uk/georgian.