Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (April 25 – May 1).
• Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, various locations, Belfast, April 28-May 7. The 17th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival returns to enliven the city centre and beyond, with over 150 events. The packed musical line-up includes Marc Almond, Guy Garvey and The Zombies, with a comedy line-up featuring Rob Delaney, Tina C, Roy Walker. There is also a full complement of literature, theatre and visual art, including a bespoke programme in a dynamic new theatre space in the Cathedral Quarter, The Barracks. To celebrate the 2016 Year of Food and Drink, a one-day meat-free mini-festival Vegstock will take place in the Festival Marquee on May 2 accompanied by a great programme of entertainment.
• Apple Blossom Fair, Ardress House & Loughgall Country Park, Co. Armagh, April 30-May 2. County Armagh is known as the Orchard County of Ireland because of its many apple orchards, spanning over 4,000 acres of countryside. Celebrate local food traditions with orchard tours, cider tastings, barbecues and entertainment for all the family at Ardress House and Loughgall Country Park with shuttle buses available to transport visitors between sites.
• Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend, various locations, Cushendun, Co. Antrim, April 29-May 2. Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend is a four day festival of music, drama, poetry, exhibitions, workshops and family fun in one of the most picturesque villages in the Glens of Antrim. Now in its fourth year the festival showcases the rich culture and spectacular landscape of Cushendun and has something for everyone.
• North West Brew Fest, Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, April 30. This exciting debut event is all about great drink and will showcase local beer, stout, ale and cider produced from across the North West. The Silverbirch Hotel’s pavilion will be transformed into a beer garden with fantastic live music taking place throughout the day from local Tyrone band, Hootin Annie’s as well as Fermanagh duo, Niall and Karl. Begins at 4pm.
• Dawn Chorus, Kiltonga Nature Reserve, Newtownards, Co. Down, April 30. One of nature’s delights, the dawn chorus should be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Join bird expert Dot Blakely as the sun comes up over Kiltonga Nature Reserve for an early morning masterclass in how to recognise the songs of the dawn chorus.
• Festival of Fools 2016, various locations, Belfast, April 29-May 2. The sound of laughter will be echoing all over Belfast, as the 13th Festival of Fools comes to town. Over 120 shows and walkabout performances will be taking place throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, all free of charge, with daredevil acrobatics, circus acts, comedy, magic and much more courtesy of some of the leading street theatre companies from Europe, America, the UK and Ireland.
• Rare Breeds Show, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, April 30-May 2. Pull on your wellies as rare and minority breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry make the Ulster American Folk Park home for the weekend. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the variety of interesting cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry on show.
• Big Marquee Weekend II, Mary Pat’s Bar, Macosquin, Co. Londonderry, April 29-May 1. The village of Macosquin near Coleraine will play host to music lovers from across Northern Ireland and beyond over the May Bank Holiday weekend at Big Marquee Weekend II. This year’s line-up features a thrilling mix of big name dance, Britpop, indie and Irish country stars.
• City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival, various locations, Derry, Co. Londonderry, April 28-May 2. Derry~Londonderry will be reverberating to the sound of jazz from bars, theatres, shopping centres, restaurants and on the streets around the city as the festival, now in its 15th year, offers a fantastic programme of live music.
• Activities at Castle Archdale, Castle Archdale Caravan Park and Camp Site, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, April 30. It is the golden jubilee of Castle Archdale, and the whole family is welcome to join in the celebrations, which include balloon modelling with Mr Twister and a kid’s quiz with prizes. Begins at 3pm.
Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/events, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto www.facebook.com/discovernorthernireland.