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26 September 2017

Newry sets sail with first City of Merchants festival

Newry unveils a giant weekend festival spectacular starting Friday 29 September to celebrate its rich heritage.

Newry scores a festival first this month as a brand new spectacular weekend-long event sails in to captivate a city renowned for its rich maritime and industrial heritage and its prowess in trade and commerce.

Organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and designed to showcase Newry’s unique history and success, the inaugural City of Merchants festival event kicks off on Friday 29 September, promising three days filled with fireworks, events, family fun, arts, culture and the best food and drink.

Only a few weeks away, Newry’s City of Merchants festival will wow audiences with a breath-taking firework spectacular set to music at Albert Basin on Saturday 30 September – guaranteed to set the wintry season off with a bang.

Woven through the stunning canals and waterways within a vibrant and confident city flanked by night-time projections at landmark sites, visitors can join Newry as it celebrates its proud history by taking part in a series of very special events or soaking up the festival atmosphere in its many restaurants, hotels, bars and cafés.

Launching Newry’s first City of Merchants festival, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said:

“We’re really excited to unveil a very special festival giant for Newry and for Northern Ireland that promises to complete a summer of fantastic fun and entertainment for hundreds of thousands of visitors from near and far.

“Newry’s City of Merchants festival is a wonderful chance for everyone to celebrate this great city, its past, present and its confident future in ways that everyone can enjoy.”

With activities taking place from Friday 29 September to Sunday 1 October – including ‘Merchant Quest’, ‘Trade Secrets’, fun-filled creative workshops and a special exhibition event at the world famous Bagenal’s Castle, visitors have plenty to choose from.

On Saturday from 5pm until 9pm, Newry’s famous quays will be a destination not to miss, with the arrival of a Tall Ship, a funfair, kids’ activities, boating trips, a ceili tent and a special pontoon on which to view the dazzling pyrotechnics as they light up the city’s sky. A floating stage with live music will add to the festival city vibe.

City of Merchants is supported by Newry Business Improvement District (BID), which invests in and delivers projects to improve local trade and to raise the profile of the area.

Newry BID manager, Eamonn Connolly, said:

“The City of Merchants festival is a fitting way to celebrate the rich and vibrant history of Newry as a place of trade and commerce. Newry is a bustling city with a bright future and we look forward to being a part of these celebrations.”

City of Merchants is the final event in the highly successful Giant Adventures season programme, delivered by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council which has drawn record crowds and included Footsteps in the Forest, Skiffie Festival, Festival of Flight and Wake the Giant.

Roisin Mulgrew added:

“The fifth outstanding Giant Adventures this year, this very special weekend looks both to the past and to the future, celebrating a special and unique history and heritage, a diverse culture and the legacy of Newry, its many waterways and its vibrancy as a place to live, to visit and to enjoy.”

For more details on City of Merchants, events and booking information, log on to or visit

Follow #CityofMerchants on Twitter for more details.

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