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13 March 2017

St Patrick comes home to Armagh & Down for new international festival

The Home of St Patrick Festival to be the biggest, best, and most-diverse celebration of Patrick’s life story, values and achievements to be found throughout Europe.

An unrivalled mix of Irish and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy will showcase the stunning locations where he walked and worked, providing an unforgettable experience for all who attend.

A sense of involvement and participation are key elements of this year’s festival, with everyone encouraged to take part in many of the individual events.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Cllr Garath Keating, said;

“We are delighted to be collaborating with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council for what will be an eclectic and thought-provoking experience. Our aim is to grow this unique festival into a world-class annual celebration of arts, food and special events celebrating St Patrick’s life, his legacy and his relevance.

“The Home of St Patrick programme ensures that our local and international visitors can enjoy the unique opportunity to share an incredible festival line-up in many interesting locations and areas of outstanding natural beauty.”

After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2016, the collaboration between Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough and Newry, Mourne and Down District Councils will provide an arts and culture extravaganza that will provide inspiration, entertainment, and reflection.

Town centres will come alive with colour and noise as fantastic carnival processions make their way through Armagh, Newry and Downpatrick. Bringing communities from across the region together in a celebration of local talent, dance and entertainment, visitors and residents will create memories to last a lifetime with spectacular cavalcades of floats and fancy dress.

There are a number of different events taking place over the course of the festival programme that would appeal to families and children of all ages.

The South Armagh Games and Legends Festival
Inspired by the ancient Tailteann Games, this event will be an interactive re-enactment of ancient sports, traditions and music from across Ireland and other cultures. It will draw upon Celtic myths and legends associated with the local area and beyond. The event will offer opportunities for all the family to participate in a fun day out.

Drums of the World
Workshops and demonstrations on the history, traditions and cultures of different drums in Ireland. Learn about and try the Lambeg Drum, Marching drums, Bodhrans and hear about their international influences and listen to playing from internationally recognized and renowned professional drummers.

Liz Weir: Storytelling
Liz Weir is a professional storyteller who works with all age groups promoting the traditional art for which Ireland is world famous. She travels the world telling stories to adults and children, organizing workshops on storytelling, and is currently Storyteller in Residence with Libraries NI.

Recommended for ages 1-4, ‘Spot’ is a very particular stage light. Its light shines and expresses itself by drawing shapes and colours on the floor. Simple words come along with the actors’ action, looking for a unity of image made of lights, sounds and movement.

Punch Lion Kids’ Comedy Club
A family-friendly stand-up comedy club for kids and big kids! Come to the show for knock knock jokes and silly songs, nonsense word play and stories of pongs. Children must attend with an adult. Recommended age 6+

For more information and the full programme of events visit

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