Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this week across NI


City of Merchants Festival Newry will once again thrill audiences with a spectacular fireworks display on Friday 2nd November at 8.30pm (with the best viewing area along Fathom Line).  Also on Friday, Festival-goers will be treated to music, entertainment and scrumptious scran at the Twilight Market from 5.00pm –11.00pm at Newry Variety Market in John Mitchel Place and are encouraged to walk across to the viewing area for the fireworks. There will be a carnival atmosphere before and following the fireworks display, with lights, fire and pyrotechnics for all to enjoy.  This year, as part of the festival, the Walking Tours of Newry will have a railway theme, coinciding with Newry and Mourne Museum’s forthcoming exhibition on railway transport.  Also in Bagenal’s Castle will be a banquet with themed entertainment.


Immerse yourself in the mystical side of Armagh heritage at the Astral Weeks party this Sunday 4th November.   Step through the Armagh County Museum doors into an after-dark event celebrating the mysticism in Armagh’s hidden histories and the 50th anniversary of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks with Classic Album Sundays . Join CAS founder Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and journalist Stuart Bailie and experience Astral Weeks in a way you never heard before. They’ll be discussing the stories behind the album followed by a vinyl replay on a world-class audiophile sound system courtesy of Kronos Audio Visual .


Join  Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre for Bloomfields Horrible Halloween. An afternoon of freaky fun with a programme of activities to keep children of all ages amused. Event starts at 12noon on Wednesday 31st October with special Bloomfield Horrible Halloween Guided Trails, follow the map to unveil the clues. Spooky Stories told by Bloomfield’s daughter Arabella. There will be a Halloween special for the adults to enjoy in the Belleek Restaurant. Guided Trails 12.00 pm | 2.00pm | 3.00pm.  Admission £3.00 per child.  Book early to avoid disappointment.  Email: takethetour@belleek.ie.


The UK’s No.1 and world’s busiest swing and jive band, The Jive Aces present their biggest theatre show to date, the Big Beat Revue at the Strule Arts Centre on Friday 2nd November.  Featuring special guests, vintage pinup dancing, singing and tapping troupe, The Satin Dollz; The low down baritone sax of Lottie B and the smooth accordion of Grazia Bevilacqua, this show features the best in 40s and 50s jive, rhythm and blues and rock and roll.  With classic tunes from artists such as Louis Jordan, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, Big Joe Turner and Bobby Darin with the flair of an Alan Freed rock and roll extravaganza, this show will have you out of your seat with its larger than life big-beat sound!


The Health, Well-Being & Natural Therapies Expo will be bringing you some of Ireland’s finest and most popular Therapists, Treatments, Holistic Retailers and Readers at the Guildhall this Saturday and Sunday.  There will also be Inspirational Talks & Workshops so that you can experience what the Holistic field has to offer. The energy emanating from our events is always amazing and many have commented in the past of how it made them feel.  Admission £4.


Join the Theatre at the Mill if you dare, for a trick, treat and scare at the upcoming production of Sleepy Hollow! Magically travel back in time with school friends Amy, Irving and Charlie to meet schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and hero Brom Bones, as they battle for the attention of the enchanting Katie Van Tassel at the school disco.  Meet the crazy Halloween characters of the 1800’s and watch out for the Headless Horseman!   Time: 7.45pm, Matinee 2.30pm, Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th November.


Crumlin Road Gaol is one of Belfast’s most haunted buildings and now you can get the chance to carry out investigations with experts in the field of Paranormal Activity. On the 4 Hour Paranormal Investigation this Saturday night you will be taken to the most active areas in the Gaol and  given the chance to use equipment used by experts while conducting your very own ghost hunt. The areas you will visit will include the reception, the condemned man’s cell, execution chamber, the tunnel and the flogging room.  Paranormal Gaol Investigations are carried out in low light conditions and are not suitable for expectant mothers. They are serious ghost hunts and not for the faint hearted! Suitable warm clothing and flat shoes must be worn.  Suitable for 18 years+

For more details on these events and to add your events free go to whatsonni.com. Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at fb.com/www.whatsonni.com for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Jacqueline McGonigle