Bangor 400 – 400 Years of our Royal Charter

2013 marks the 400th Anniversary of Bangor’s town charter with a year-long programme of events to celebrate the cultural history of the town.

Attending the recent launch event of the Bangor 400 programme of events at The Town Hall, Bangor were Kieran Gilmore, Director of The Open House Festival, Chief Executive of North Down Borough Council Trevor Polley, The Mayor of North Down Wesley Irvine and Stephen McCartney from music group The Farriers.

An exciting motoring event, special celebration concerts and light shows are some of the highlights of the planned programme.

The programme will kick off on Easter Monday, 1st April, when the annual Easter Parade will have a special 400 theme to mark the occasion. At 3pm over 200 local children and young people will take to the streets as part of the spectacular Bangor 400 themed carnival Parade. The Parade will be led by a band in historic costume with a carnival twist, followed by King James on a throne holding a giant charter. Look out for Kings & Queens, a giant birthday cake, live music bands and lots more when this colourful spectacular makes its way around the Town.

As well as the parade, there will be plenty of activities and things to do and see along The Promenade and a special karting event organised by Eddie Irvine Sports will be taking place at The McKee Clock Arena from 10am.

Motorsports fans will be thrilled when Bangor Town Centre will be transformed for a special Bangor 400 motoring event on Saturday 29th of June. From 6pm a variety of fabulous vehicles will do 400 laps of Bangor.  Expect to see mini-motos, Legends, go-karts, classic motorbikes and other speciality cars up close.

Throughout the weekend the HMS Bangor will be at the Eisenhower Pier along with a variety of attractions to keep the children entertained.  Look out for a few surprise characters along the Pier who’ll shed a bit of light on what Bangor was like over the past 400 years.

Classic car fans will be delighted to see a display of over 400 cars from vintage to some of the most cherished performance cars at the front of the Town Hall.

On Sunday 30th June at 3pm over a hundred veterans will parade through the Town Centre to pay tribute to this special anniversary.  Parade route details will be announced at a later stage.

Come to Castle Park on Saturday 14th September when local heroes Otis and The Elevators will kick off a trip down memory lane – when they take to the stage at 6pm with a collection of their classic blues hits.

Next up are Swingabella supported by an 8 piece band.  This is a close-harmony vocal trio bringing back the sassy sound of the 30s and 40s – the Swing Era.  Their repertoire includes the songs of the Andrews Sisters – favourites like ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’ and ‘In The Mood’.

Appearing for the first time in Northern Ireland the next act is a huge hit in the UK.  King Pleasure and the Biscuits Boys – this unusually named band is one of the most popular jazz and swing bands in the world, made famous by Ronnie Scott’s clubs, performing classy numbers in Louis Jordan and Eddie Cleanhead style.

On Sunday 15 we are delighted to announce an event called Bangor 400 Voices.  This will be a celebration of choral excellence featuring Bangor Ladies Choir, Open Arts Choir and Belfast Community Gospel Choir.

On both Saturday and Sunday nights at 10.00 pm the Town Hall will once again be used as a spectacular backdrop for a 3d lighting projection show which will reflect Bangor’s journey over the past 400 years.

Speaking about the Bangor 400 series of events, Tourism Manager Alison Stobie said: “we are very much looking forward to hosting the Bangor 400 events in what promises to be an exciting year for the town and would encourage everyone to come along and join in the celebrations at our special events.”