Thousands of people will take to the streets of Tyrone this coming weekend dressed in green and ready for some craic as a host of special events will mark St Patrick’s Day across the county.
Parades and a range of other entertainment will be held in each of the main towns of Omagh, Dungannon, Cookstown and Strabane on March 17.
St Patrick’s Day celebrations will bring Omagh town centre to life on Sunday with music, song, dance and fun for all the family from 1pm-4pm.
The theme of this year’s parade is ‘The Land of Saints and Scholars’ and the colourful carnival parade featuring local community and sporting groups, schools, dance groups, businesses and organisations will weave its way through the town centre starting from Sedan Avenue at 1.30pm.
The 2018 All-Ireland Fleadh Senior Céilí Band Champions – ‘Blackwater Céilí Band’ – will entertain the crowds on the main stage located in front of the Courthouse both before and after the parade makes its way through the town centre.
The Bulgarian Association Group will also keep little hands busy as they get creative with a workshop from 12.30pm-3pm in Strule Arts
This year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dungannon looks set to be bigger and better than ever, with a host of community, cultural and sporting organisations lined up to take to the streets.
The parade will assemble on Sunday at 2.30pm on the Donaghmore Road, making its way along Ann Street, Irish Street, Market Square, Scotch Street, Georges Street and William Street, before returning to Ann Street.
The parade is being led this year by the 1st Tyrone Scouts Group who are celebrating 60 years since its formation in the town.
Among the bands lined up for the event are the Thomas Clarke Band, Coalisland Silver Band, the Dungannon and Coalisland/Clonoe branches of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann, while Lough Neagh Search and Rescue, Order of Malta, the Men’s Shed, and Carroll School of Dancing will also be in attendance.
The new festival format in Strabane offers a wide range of free activities for families, taking place in and around the town centre, kicking off with the traditional carnival parade.
The events celebrate a multitude of cultures and traditions with the main theme of the festival parade focusing on one of Ireland’s favourite fables – the tale of Tír na nÓg – the mythical land of everlasting youth and joy.
Activities include arts and crafts, face painting, balloon modelling, story-telling, dance and even a festive farm, while Castle Street will be transformed into a multi-cultural hub celebrating traditions and entertainment from around the world.
The annual St Patrick’s Day Celebrations Concert in the Burnavon Theatre on Friday, March 15 will be headlined by The Knights.
They will have you singing and clapping along to a combination of Irish classics, traditional and contemporary Irish Folk. Local music and dance artists will also appear, including Cookstown Folk Club led by Donald Canavan and Traditional Music In Schools. The evening will be compered by TV and BBC Radio Ulster presenter and producer, Lynette Fay.