Welcome to The Red Velvet Cabaret!

Sit down, relax and enjoy our very own West End singing star Peter Corry as he presents his brand new show The Red Velvet CabaretFilm-Esque Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March at The Courtyard Theatre Newtownabbey.

Starring and directed by Corry, The Red Velvet Cabaret has a first class production team including renowned musical director Ashley Fulton and London- based choreographer Fleur Mellor.

This fabulous evening of entertainment has a Movie Theme featuring iconic hits from the movies, from Lord of The Rings to Moulin Rouge, The Hunger Games to James Bond.  Set in a cabaret style this is truly a unique show not to be missed.

Tickets available from Box Office: 028 9034 0202 or online wwwthecourtyardtheatre.com.

LegenDerry Food Festival – 19-20 March

[Festival Marquee, Guildhall Square: Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th, 12 noon-7pm]

The LegenDerry Food Festival is back to celebrate the very best Irish cuisine for two mouth-watering days on Saturday, March 19th and Sunday, March 20th, in the heart of the city.  Watch the North West’s finest chefs rustle up their signature dishes in the Festival Marquee in Guildhall Square and, sample top local produce cooked right in front of your eyes.

Make sure to arrive early to get your front row seat for the cookery demos and keep your eyes peeled for a few celebrity guests at this year’s event, a highlight in Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink programme, shining the spotlight on the region’s flourishing food tourism industry.

NI Science Festival event – 27 February 2016

[Ebrington Square]

The ‘Experimental Kitchen in Derry’ will open the door to the science of food and teach some neat cooking tricks on the way.  The project will look at experiments with thickening, fixing, gelling and molecular cooking, employing techniques such as air and foam.  A scientific jump will explore multi-sensory cooking and food pairing with molecular similarities.  Experiments on multi-sensory cooking include sounds of food and other experiments that show that appreciation of food is determined by the information sent to the brain.  Free for all the family.


Make the most of the weeks ahead by getting out and about with the family to enjoy some of the exciting things to see and do across Northern Ireland.

Rachel Quigg, Communications & Destination PR Officer at Tourism Northern Ireland explains why Northern Ireland is the perfect place to experience a family fun day out:

“The holidays are the perfect excuse to get away for a day or a short break this winter. If you are looking for things to see and do with your family over the coming weeks then NI really does have something for everyone.

“There are so many places to explore and whilst we may not always get the weather we would like, that doesn’t matter as there are indoor, as well as outdoor, options for everyone to choose from to make your adventure a time to remember,” added Rachel.

Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of things to see and do with family over the coming weeks:


FREE!  Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens – Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present houses a rich collection of art as well as dinosaurs, an Egyptian Mummy and fascinating modern masterpieces.  The museum is in the ground of the Botanic Gardens which was established in 1828 by the Belfast Botanic and Horticultural Society, in response to public interest in horticulture and botany. Originally known as the Belfast Botanic Garden, the site is home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine.

Titanic Belfast – The must-see attraction, located in the heart of the Titanic Quarter, tells the story of the world famous ship, built in Belfast, through a state of the art visitor experience.

W5 – A great day out for the whole family, W5 is an award-winning interactive science centre encouraging both young and old to touch, feel, smell and press everything in sight.


Troggs Surf School, Portrush – Located at the new North Coast Water Sports Centre in Portrush the surf school aims to provide a fun, informative and safe introduction to the world of surfing.

Carnfunnock Country Park, Ballygally, Larne – Covering 191 hectares of mixed woodland, colourful gardens, walking trails and spectacular coastline, Carnfunnock also has a maze, family fun zone with miniature railway, and much more, making it the ideal spot for a family day out.

Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills – The iconic polygonal columns, the myth and legend of Finn McCool and the visitor centre showcasing the stories and science behind the formation makes a trip to the Giant’s Causeway unforgettable.

Fun event

Snowdrop Day, Benvarden Garden, Ballymoney, February 21. This is a special open day to show the wonderful display of Snowdrops which carpet the grounds of Benvarden Gardens & Estate. Families can enjoy a magical stroll to see the first signs of floral life after the long winter months.


Armagh County Museum – The museum captures centuries of stories relating to people who lived, worked and had connections with the famous city and historic county.

Armagh Planetarium – The Planetarium offers visitors the chance to try a 3D experience in the Digital Theatre, travelling to the International Space Station as well as enjoy interactive displays learning about cosmos and the latest space news

Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Killeavy – Step out for a leisurely walk around the walled garden or put your walking boots on for the various trails across the mountain and take in the breath-taking views of the Ring of Gullion, Mourne Mountains and the Armagh Drumlins. The Forest Park also offers a scenic drive, an adventure playpark, courtyard with coffee and a Giants Lair children’s story trail.

Fun event

101 Annual Ploughing Competition, Richardsons Estate, Portadown, February 27. This family focussed event hosts over 5,000 visitors each year and has something for everyone including model tractors, local artists, cupcakes, books and a Shopping Village.


Castlewellan Forest Park & Peace Maze, Castlewellan – Make the most of the beautiful collection of shrubs and trees by wandering through the gardens or taking a stroll through the forest. Why not try and find your way through one of the world’s largest permanent hedge mazes.

WWT Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber – On the shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Espie is a tranquil and friendly centre offering hides and nature walks allowing you to get close to wild and endangered birds. The Secret Swamp offers a natural, active play experience and a tranquil setting to enjoy the sights and sounds of this secluded habitat. Children will love exploring the wishing tree, zip wire, wobbly bridge and log den hide out.

Mount Stewart House and Gardens –This beautiful location has been voted as one of the top ten gardens in the world and boasts a wide range of rare plants and stunning lakeside walks making it a great place for a family picnic.

Fun event

Giant LEGO Brick Animal Trail, Castle Espie Wetland Centre, Comber, Co. Down, February 13 – March 20. Opening on Saturday 13 February, sculptures made from the world’s most popular toy will be sitting alongside their real life cousins along the trail. The awesome models include a giant otter, a massive mallard and a colossal kingfisher. Follow the trail around the nature reserve and discover how many bricks have been used to make each animal.


Crom Estate – Set on the shores of Upper Lough Erne, Crom Estate is a 2,000 acre demesne with ancient woodland, tranquil islands, estate cottages and Old Crom Castle as well as rare species of animals and wild deer.

Florence Court House – Families can enjoy glorious walks around the grounds which include a pretty walled garden and holiday cottage. Other interesting features include a saw mill, ice house and summer house.

Castle Coole – If you are looking for stately grandeur then Castle Coole is a rare treat. Surrounded by a stunning landscape park on the edge of Enniskillen, this majestic 18th century home of the Earls of Belmore, was created to impress. The surrounding wooded landscape park sloping down to Lough Coole is ideal for long walks.

Derry ~ Londonderry

Historic Walls of Derry, City of Derry – One of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe, the walls were built during the period of 1613-1618 and they provide a unique promenade to view the original town.

The Jungle NI, Moneymore – An outdoor adventure centre offering a range of activities from paintballing to zorbing and the first High Wire Tree Top Adventure course in the country.

The Guildhall – Following extensive refurbishment the Guildhall is a beautiful building and is well worth taking time to see or take a guided tour. Fashioned in neo-gothic style, it boasts stunning examples of stained glass windows which illustrate the intriguing history of the city.

Fun event

Brick Wonders, The Nerve Centre, City of Derry, February 6 – May 2.  The amazing Brick Wonders Exhibition will showcase over 70 LEGO models and covers as well as stunning scenes created by artist Warren Elsmore. This not to be missed event is a perfect day out for all the family.


Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh – Experience the adventure of Irish emigration that will take you from the thatched cottages of Northern Ireland, on board a full-scale emigrant sailing ship to the log cabins of the American Frontier.

Blessingbourne Mountain Bike Trail and Pump Track, Fivemiletown – In the heart of the Clogher Valley, Blessingbourne offers trails full of technical features and can cater for all ages and abilities, offering a fun day out for the whole family.

River Blackwater Canoe Trail, Dungannon – Enjoy an amazing canoe trail on the beautiful River Blackwater as the river meanders through the stunning countryside of County Armagh and Tyrone before arriving into Lough Neagh.

For more information go to www.discovernorthernireland.com.


There’s comedy drama and jazz talent on the line-up at Armagh’s Market Place Theatre next weekend.

C21 Theatre Company presents a comedy about banks, bras and going bust! In Rosemary Jenkinson’s biting new comedy, ‘Love Or Money’, finance and fidelity entangle in a tug-of-love to keep business afloat. Eilish is back in the dating game and back in the courts rebuilding her law career. She has a demanding boss, a demanding life, and now a new boyfriend.  As her work and her relationship develop, Eilish finds herself embroiled in a world of hidden identity, missing documents and bras… lots of bras… ‘Love Or Money’ will be staged on Thursday 10th March at 8pm. Tickets are priced £13 or £11 (concession).

Two of Scotland’s greatest Jazz artists, saxophonist Tommy Smith and pianist Brian Kellock, team up on Friday 11 March to bring you a beautiful and imaginative duo. Smith and Kellock will perform a variety of up tempo classics and sublime ballads from the great American & European songbook, including standards by Duke Ellington, Chick Corea and Stan Getz. In 2014 the duo released ‘Whispering Of The Stars’ to critical acclaim.

Tommy Smith is one of the finest saxophonists of his generation. He has won three British Jazz Awards [1989, 1996 & 2002]. Brian Kellock is widely regarded as one of the UK’s finest jazz pianists. In 2000, Brian Kellock was recognized as one of the top ten young, jazz pianists in the world by Classic CD magazine. Tickets for this performance are priced £11 each.

Details of all events can be found online at www.marketplacearmagh.com, and tickets can be booked by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821.

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

Bangor’s Pirate Invasion Returns For Easter Monday!

Ahoy Me Hearties! This Easter Monday, 28 March, Bangor will once again play host to Pirates and Princesses when the annual Easter Pirate Parade and Fun Day returns to the town. If you fancy joining in the fun – get dressed up and come on down!

Pirate Matt Vernon from The Beat Carnival and Stuart McClurg from Moto Trial NI set the scene for the annual Easter Parade and Fun Day in Bangor. Taking place on Easter Monday, March 28, the event will include a spectacular pirate-themed parade and a fast-paced trial bike competition at The McKee Clock Arena.

The spectacular Pirate Parade will take place at 3pm – when over 200 children and young people from local youth and dance groups across The Borough will take part in the colourful spectacle as it makes its way through the town.  Look out for pirate ships, colourful bands, pirates, dancers and live music.  Led by The Mayor of Ards and North Down, this is an extravaganza not to be missed!

This event is accessible to everyone and we are currently recruiting local groups to come along and take part in the parade on the day.  If you work with a group, then please get in touch!  A two hour workshop will be held in the weeks prior to the event, to give people the opportunity to create pirate themed costumes and accessories to wear on the day

The Pirates of the Moto Trial NI Club are very excited to be given the honours of entertaining all ye land lubbers with the biggest arena event to date. The McKee Clock Arena will take centre stage for this dazzling trial bike competition as the Pirates of The Bay pit their wits and skills against each other over various insane obstacles! Picture the scene, The Black Pearl has run aground on the rocks, and its cargo of rum drums and parrot cages along with the wooden rafters of the hull make for the perfect obstacles for these pesky pirates to go head to head to see who is the greatest! Free posters will be signed by the riders between shows so come along and cheer your favourite pirate along.

Be prepared to be thrilled as these talented bikers showcase their amazing skills and perform some breath-taking stunts and manoeuvres! Starting at 11am, this spectacular show is not to be missed!

There are plenty of other activities happening around the town too; Project 24 will be turned into “Pirate 24” for the day, a fun Treasure Island full of pirate-themed crafts, activities and music. And look out for the special “X Marks The Spot” stations where children can be transformed into a pirate with face paints and a hat! Lots of fun for all the family!

So come on down to Bangor with your family and friends this Easter Monday for lots of family fun. If you would like to take part in the parade, please contact Ards and North Down Borough Council on: events@ardsandnorthdown.com. Help us make this the biggest Pirate Parade ever!

For further information check: www.visitardsandnorthdown.com

Discover your future with NWRC’s 2016 Open Days

Discover what North West Regional College can offer you this September by attending one of its three ‘Discover Days’ in March 2016.

Discover your next career move…NWRC Science student Lucy Murray encourages all local learners to discover their career potential by attending the College’s Open Days running 1-3 March 2016.

Each of the College’s main locations will open its doors to allow prospective students the opportunity to sample the NWRC experience and courses.

On Tuesday 1st March, the College’s Main Street and Greystone campuses in Limavady will open to the public from 5.00pm until 8.00pm. The Strand Road and Springtown Campuses in Derry-Londonderry will have events running on Wednesday 2nd March from 12.00 noon until 8.00pm and the Derry Road Strabane campus ‘Discover Day’ will be from 5.00pm until 8.00pm

In a new twist to its past open day format, the College is offering local learners an interactive opportunity to discover and experience what it will have on offer for those looking to boost their career from September 2016.

Leo Murphy, NWRC Principal and Chief Executive said, ‘Our three Discover Day events will give prospective students the perfect insight into the learning experiences and courses we will offer from September 2016.  Our teaching and support staff, together with our own learners, will be on to showcase the College experience, and provide advice and information on course and careers queries.

This is your opportunity to discover your course and your future, take a tour of our state-of-the-art campus facilities, meet our friendly staff and students….. but most importantly, take part in a range of interactive and practical activities which will give you an insight into the exciting courses we have on offer.

‘So whether it is Science, Media, Art, Beauty, Computing, Engineering, Sport or any of our other subject areas, we can promise something for everyone during our three day ‘Discover’ showcases.’

Further details can be found at North West Regional College’s website – www.nwrc.ac.uk/discover


TREAT your Mum to a really special Mother’s Day this year and surprise her with a delicious lunch in the luxurious surroundings of a Hastings Hotel.

March 6 is the perfect opportunity to show your Mum just how much you appreciate her and Hastings have a range of offers available across their six hotels which Mum will just love.

Marketing Director Julie Hastings explains why choosing a Hastings Hotel will help sons and daughters create the perfect Mother’s Day this year:

“March 6 is the perfect time to show your Mum just how much you care and there is no better way to spoil her than to treat her to a delicious meal and luxurious experience at a Hastings Hotel. If you’re mummy prefers the buzz of a city centre location or a relaxing drive through breath-taking scenery to enjoy some of Northern Ireland’s finest sights, we have an option that she will be thrilled with.

“If you can’t decide what to get your Mum this year then why not try a Hastings Hotels gift voucher and let her decide for herself which hotel to visit,” added Julie.

Check out the offers available with Hastings Hotels this Mother’s Day:

Culloden Estate & Spa, Belfast

Relax in the sumptuous surroundings of the Culloden Estate & Spa by enjoying a delicious Mother’s Day lunch for £50 for adults, including a glass of Prosecco, and £20 for children.  Overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Antrim coastline this magnificent hotel and its surroundings is sure to impress your nearest and dearest.

Ballygally Castle, Ballygally

If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy lunch whilst soaking up spectacular views of the North Coast then Ballygally Castle is just the location. Adults can dine on a tasty lunch for £38 whilst children’s lunch is £18.  Once you have sampled the scrumptious feast, why not walk it off on the nearby beach with your loved ones.

Europa Hotel, Belfast

For only £30 you can treat your Mum to a truly unique experience with a delicious lunch set against the backdrop of Belfast’s stunning city landscape.  A kids menu is also available for any little ones that come along to enjoy the special occasion.

Mother’s Day Yellow Afternoon Tea

If your Mum loves nothing more than a relaxing Afternoon Tea then the Europa Hotel is offering a ‘Yellow Rose’ afternoon tea which is available on March 5 and 6 from 2-5pm from only £28 per person including a beautiful yellow rose for all Mums and if you would like to add a sparkling cocktail, your Afternoon Tea will cost £36 per person.

Everglades Hotel, Derry~Londonderry

The Everglades Hotel is offering a Grand Buffet Lunch this Mothering Sunday which can be enjoyed for only £26 for adults and £13 for children. The hotel is the perfect destination with views overlooking the River Foyle and just a short five minute drive into the bustling, historic Derry City Centre.

The Everglades Hotel is also offering a special Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea on March 5 from 1pm and for only £17 per person.

Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle

Surprise your Mum to a Grand Buffet Lunch in the Oak Restaurant at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa for only £45 for adults and £25 for children.  After lunch take a stroll around the impressive grounds and soak up the spectacular views of the nearby Mountains of Mourne.

Stormont Hotel, Belfast

If you would like to treat your Mum to a tasty lunch in a great location then the Stormont Hotel is ideal as it is situated just a few steps from the historic, Stormont Estate, which offers a range of beautiful walkways and places to play for children, and minutes from Belfast city centre. This March 6, they are offering a Grand Buffet Lunch in the Stormont Suite from only £42 for adults and £20 for children.

For more information on Hastings Hotels click on www.hastingshotels.com


Northern Ireland boasts a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for an ideal short break and Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.

  • One Night Roe Park Spa Experience, Roe Park Resort, Limavady, Co. Londonderry. From £124.50pps. Enjoy a one night spa break with Roe Park Resort’s most popular spa package. Begin your spa experience with a traditional Swedish Back Massage followed by an Elemis Taster Facial and complete complimentary use of Fairways Health Club. Enjoy a delicious evening meal in a choice of two restaurants, an overnight stay in a beautiful guest room and a locally sourced Irish buffet breakfast on departure. Available until 15 March.  To book call (028) 7772 2222.
  • One Night Food Lovers Offer, Valley Hotel, Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone. From £99 per room. Situated at the gateway to the Fermanagh Lakelands, this family run hotel is perfectly situated to explore attractions such as Marble Arch Caves, Belleek Pottery and Ulster American Folk Park. Renowned for its award-winning cuisine, the hotel is offering a 4-course evening meal for two in its Good Food Circle restaurant as part of this deal. Available until 13 March. To book call (028) 8952 1505.
  • Romantic Break with Bubbles, Shola Coach House Boutique B&B, Portrush, Co. Antrim. From £44pps. Stay for two nights in the Buttercup Room with its distant sea view and luxurious freestanding roll top bath tub and enjoy a complimentary bottle of bubbly as well as afternoon tea upon arrival and a choice of breakfasts each morning. Quote Romantic Break with Bubbles in the online booking form. £176 for 2 people for 2 nights. Available until 29 February. To book go to www.sholabandb.com.

For further information log on to www.discovernorthernireland.com/offers.

*All offers are subject to availability.


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (February 22-28).

  • Salty Dog Gourmet Evening: Love Local, Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro, Bangor, Co. Down, February 25. Enjoy a special Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 gourmet dinner at The Salty Dog. To celebrate ‘Love Local’ month, The Salty Dog will be hosting a special gourmet dinner event with six courses of dishes inspired by great local producers and suppliers, with cocktails and wines to match and Ristretto Coffee Roasters and Miss McKeown’s tea to finish. Begins at 7pm.
  • Annie – The Musical, Millennium Forum, Derry, Co. Londonderry, February 23-27. Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. The world’s favourite family musical comes to Derry~Londonderry for 1 week only, starring Birds of a Feather actress, Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Show begins at 7.30pm (1pm matinee on Wednesday and 2.30pm matinee on Saturday).
  • The Bjorn Identity, PORTICO, Steel Dickson Avenue, Portaferry, Co. Down, February 27. After a string of sell out shows, one of the leading Abba tribute bands makes its first stop in Portaferry. The Bjorn Identity are Ireland’s top live Abba tribute show, taking venues by storm with their authentic sell out Abba in concert experience. After headlining festivals across the country not to mention a fabulous opening of Belfast’s Pride in 2015, this is an experience guaranteed to have you dancing in the aisles. Show begins at 8pm.
  • Wine Tasting at Maryville House, Maryville House, 2 Maryville Park, Belfast, February 25. As part of Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, Maryville House is hosting a wine tasting with guest speaker Alaister T Bell, who lectures on wines at Queens University and gives master classes. The wine tasting class will cost £25.00 per person with canapés and bites to go with the wine. Book now for a great evening of fun, cosy atmosphere and learning about wine. Begins at 7.30pm.
  • Beginning to End by Samuel Beckett, Riverside Theatre, Ulster University, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, February 26. This drama is a version of Jack MacGowran’s Beginning To End, as arranged by MacGowran with Samuel Beckett’s collaboration. It is presented by Dublin-based actor Declan McGauran and features a pre-show talk by Dr Nick Johnson of Trinity College, Dublin. Show begins at 8pm with pre-show talk at 7.15pm.
  • Ec-ology at Navan Centre & Fort, Navan Centre & Fort, Killylea Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh, February 28. This is a free drop-in event and will examine the rich ecology around the Navan Centre. Debbie Dolittle returns bringing with her rescued mammals for you to look at, including a hedgehog, rabbit, ferret and fox. Walk around the Navan site looking for the trails these animals leave and enjoy making your own plaster-of-Paris footprint cast.
  • New Images from Hubble, Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast, February 28. Hubble – the first major optical telescope to be placed in space – takes pictures of stars, planets and galaxies as it whirls around Earth at about 17,000mph. Robert Hill from Northern Ireland Space Office will show us some of Hubble’s most recent fascinating images of deep space and explain what they are all about. Talks begin at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
  • Learn the Art of Henna, An Creagán, Creggan, Co. Tyrone, February 27-28. Henna is an ancient art form which uses the crushed leaf of the henna plant to stain skin a brown colour, and this stain lasts between 1 and 4 weeks. During this introductory course students will learn how to create simple and attractive henna designs for friends and family. Begins at 10am.
  • Derryclavin Pipe Band Presents A Night of Music and Song, Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, February 26. Derryclavin are one of County Fermanagh’s top pipe bands, performing an eclectic mix of songs and instrumentals. They will be joined by special guests Stonewall and Session Beat, with other talented local artists contributing to the evening. Show begins at 8pm.
  • Artisan Pizza Making Workshop, Dalriada House, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, February 28. Join artisan bread making expert, Dara of Ursa Minor Bakehouse and learn how to make true artisan pizza from scratch. If you aspire to make great pizza at home, then this workshop is for you. Pre-booking required.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland


Billed as the largest-ever St Patrick’s Festival of events to be held in the UK and Ireland, Armagh kicks in to high gear next month with a jam-packed programme showcasing the best of culture, music, song and dance.

For ten full days from March 10, Ireland’s Cathedral City will spring into life as an impressive and unrivalled mix of theatre, live music, comedy, dance, poetry, exhibitions and a series of special walks and talks get under way to celebrate Armagh’s importance in St Patrick’s life, his legacy and mission.

Featuring family fun days, uplifting choral recitals and orchestral events, the Armagh and Downpatrick St. Patrick’s Festival features an enormous programme of activity for every age and interest.

Bound together by the importance and significance of their locations in the life of St Patrick, the Festival programme is a new and exciting collaboration between Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, and many of the events planned take place across both areas.

Catherine Seeley, Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, said:

“The foundation of Armagh’s legendary status and its historical importance rests firmly on the life of St Patrick and we are thrilled and excited to present what will undoubtedly be a truly memorable event that promises to put the city and the surrounding area firmly on the world stage.

“The breadth of activity and talent on show is outstanding and the programme provides everyone with every reason to visit one, all or any of the events on offer and we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors from across the area, across Northern Ireland and further afield who will be thoroughly enthralled by what they see, hear and experience.”

The Market Place Theatre takes centre stage to showcase several of the festival’s signature events – including Celtic Spirit, a traditional and spiritual musical celebration of St Patrick which features BBC’s The Voice winner Andrea Begley among others, while Moya Brennan, Brian Finnegan and Connla add to the high-calibre of acts scheduled to perform.


Armagh City’s most popular event space will also be hosting a busy programme of exhibitions and inspiring theatrical productions including ’The Year of the Hiker’ by John B Keane and Niall de Burca’s tales of ancient Ireland.

The internationally-acclaimed St Patrick’s Lecture takes place at The Market Place Theatre on March 16th on the eve of St Patrick’s Day and the festival procession, and will feature the Primates of the two principal churches in Ireland in conversation with BBC journalist Tara Mills.

The programme also features an inspiring range of spiritual events, many of which draw on the significance of St Patrick and the important role he played in bringing Christianity to Ireland and which allow visitors to reflect and retrace his steps. In addition, thought-provoking tours and church services allow the true meaning of his legacy to be remembered.

Music plays a key role throughout the festival, with the Ulster Orchestra lined up for a unique performance at the Church of Ireland Cathedral. The Arco String Quartet will also be performing at the Palace Chapel.

There are also a series of specially-planned events at the Navan Fort & Centre and at the Armagh Observatory.

A free shuttle bus service will be available to transport visitors between Armagh and Downpatrick for a selection of key events taking place over the course of the Festival.

For more information on what is happening in Armagh during the festival, please visit www.armagh.co.uk.