Northern Ireland news

Plenty of craic lined up for St Patrick's Day in Belfast

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, and Q Radio presenter Gareth Stewart join characters from Beat Carnival at the launch of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in front of City Hall.
Mairead Holland

NINETIES dance sensation The Vengaboys are to headline the St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast.

Revellers can enjoy a concert, 10k run and traditional music and dance, along with the main parade through the city centre to mark Ireland's patron saint's day.

The theme of this year's parade is ‘City of Equals' and, as well as the floats and costumes, musicians from across the globe will celebrate with community groups.

The parade, led by Lord Mayor, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, starts from Belfast City Hall at 12.30pm on Sunday March 17 and will travel along Chichester Street, Victoria Street, High Street and Donegall Street before finishing at Writer's Square.

In the afternoon, a concert at Custom House Square concert will be headlined by The Vengaboys singing some of their best-known hits including We Like to Party and We're Going to Ibiza.

There will also be traditional music from The Whistlin' Donkeys, Irish dancing with the Fusion Fighters by Steppin Out, and performances from County Down singer Catherine McGrath, who recently supported Michael Bublé in concert, and guitarist Ryan Sheridan.

Gates open at 1.15pm and access will be first come first served with no ticket required.

St George's Market will be open from 10am-4pm offering traditional Irish food, music and dance.

Tea dances in the Ulster Hall, from 12 noon to 2pm and from 3pm to 5pm, will serve up live music and a cup of tea. Free tickets are available from 9am on Monday, February 25 by calling 028 9033 4455 or in person at the Ulster Hall Box Office.

In addition, Féile an Earraigh is running from March 11-17 and will feature concerts, tours, walks, debates and discussions, drama, exhibitions and family events.

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