What's On: Footsteps in the Forest Festival brings a little magic to Slieve Gullion

Jacqueline McGonigle of shares her pick of family friendly events taking place this week across the north

Children's Writing Fellow Myra Zepf creates the story behind this year’s Footsteps in the Forest at Slieve Gullion Picture Mal McCann
Jacqueline McGonigle


Myra Zepf, the first Children's Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, is set to create the magical story behind this year's Footsteps in the Forest. Kidnapped dragons, a mischievous witch, elves, fairies and druids are just some of the characters you could bump into at the Footsteps in the Forest Festival in Slieve Gullion. The two-day event returns on Saturday and Sunday August 4 and 5 when actors will guide adventure-seekers through the forest in a theatrical tour in search of dragons and to help overcome Gullion's witch, the Cailleach Bheara. The festival is part of the wider Giant Adventures programme, a major series of family festivals organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.


Join Navan Fort this for the annual celebration of the Celtic Sun God Lugh. The 30ft Wickerman will proudly oversee the activities taking place during this evening of music, dance, crafts, and displays of ancient Celtic traditions and custom this Saturday. Enjoy performances by, among others, Hatch Jaw, Trad Folk Experience. Dancing, World of Owls, henna body art and the burning of the Wickerman. Pre-booking essential, limited tickets available.


Arts Over Borders presents The Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Legnabrocky, Enniskillen, August 1-5. The sixth Beckett Festival returns with its uniquely adventurous mix of site-specific events in our landscape, world-class song in our churches and its engaging talks and discussions on a wide range of themes for everyone to enjoy.


Rock around the clock with The Soda Popz at the Alley Theatre Strabane this Saturday. Featuring the songs of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Connie Francis and more.


See the second instalment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise this Friday at the Roe Valley Arts Centre, Limavady. Tickets £3.


From July 31 to August 4, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York city, as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the 'American' Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. West Side Story, Theatre at The Mill, Newtownabbey; tickets: £15 and £13 (Concession);


Come along to Orangefield Park on the Connswater Community Greenway for Greenway Celebrations. There'll be environmental activities, sports, historical tours, local food stalls, entertainment, street theatre and more. Part of The EastSide Park Fest. Admission free.

:: For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what's on near you.

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