City centre stalls get the green light for St Patrick's Day
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
STALLS and street trading will return to Hill Street for this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations after hundreds of families were left disappointed 12 months ago when they were banned from the city centre.
The council came in for stinging criticism last year when the annual St Patrick's Day parade was moved from Sunday, March 17 to Saturday, March 16 after the council said some sections of the community did not want to participate in events held on a Sunday.
And because the festivities were moved to a Saturday, the council then banned any form of street trading after Hill Street businesses expressed concerns that on-street stalls would impact on their trade - prompting online ire from families and revellers who accused the council of bowing to a select few for an event paid for by ratepayers.
However, the stalls are back on Hill Street this year and there will also be a free family concert in Margaret Square featuring Declan Nerney and his band Luv Bug, The Professionals and a Garth Brooks tribute band.
There will also be a traditional Céili with Raymond Carroll Fear a Ti will be performed in Margaret Square, accompanied by Warrenpoint Comhaltas and the Glen Miller Tribute Band.
Other activities on Hill Street include Laser Tag Arena, Fun House Bouncy Castle, outdoor games, a climbing frame, face painting, famous cartoon characters and balloon modelling.
As usual, the parade through the city centre will kick off proceedings and will be led by Mayor Michael Ruane accompanied by an array of parade entertainment from a cavalcade of floats, walking participants, marching bands, stilt-walkers, mix and mingle of street theatre, juggling and uni-cycling.
It starts at 12 noon from the Quays Shopping and Leisure Centre and will make its away along Buttercrane Quay, Merchants Quay, Sugar Island, Kildare Street and The Mall before returning back to the Quays Shopping Centre.
Other events happening over the Paddy's Day period - which this year has been themed Celebrating Belonging In The City - traditional music and children's entertainment featuring magician Sean Brannigan in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre.
Also, the council's Irish Language Unit is providing four events for the local Irish Language community and other Irish speakers, including a lecture on James Joyce and the Irish language. For further information on these events telephone the Irish Language Unit on (028) 3031 3258.
Additionally, there will be an Interdenominational Ecumenical Service on Wednesday, March 12 at 11.30am in St Mary's Church, John Mitchel Place, while Cullen's Funfair will be located St Christopher's Park from March 13-17.
To find out more information about forthcoming events /promotions in Newry visit: www.newry.com or checkout the Cathedral Quarter and Creamery Quarter Facebook pages or say hello on Twitter: @Hello_Newry
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