Tourism Northern Ireland has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (March 16 – 22).
• St Patrick’s Day, Slemish Mountain, Ballymena, Co Antrim, March 17. Follow St Patrick’s footprints at Slemish Mountain also knows as the first known home of St Patrick. Shuttle buses will operate from the Ecos Centre and Buckna to Slemish throughout the day. There will be entertainment with light refreshments including Irish stew on sale at the EcosCentre from 12 noon until 3.30pm.
• La Traviata, Grand Opera House, Belfast, March 18 and 20. Profoundly moving music, fervent passion and sweeping drama, Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ is widely considered the most popular opera of all time. Violetta is courtesan to the rich, but her superficial world is turned upside down when she falls for the young Alfredo. But when her past life catches up with her, she is soon forced to sacrifice what may be her only chance of real love.From 7.15pm.
• St Patrick’s Day Traditions and Legends, Guildhall and the Tower Museum, Co Londonderry, March 17. Enjoy a short comedic sketch show on how traditions and legends have developed down the years. This laugh-a-minute sketch show will explore stereotypes, favourite foods from soda bread to Tayto crisps, the things we say, the dialect and accents, the songs, the dances and much loved music, and the great ability to laugh even through troubled times. 12 noon to 5pm
• Spring Book Fair, The Argory, Moy, Co Armagh, March 21-22. Browse through hundreds of second hand books and stock up on all your essential reads – you may even come across a first edition of a much-loved author. There’s something for everyone including live music and Punch and Judy shows on Sunday. From 12noon to 5pm.
• St Patrick’s Day Cruise at Share, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh, March 17. Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style with a cruise around the green islands of Lough Erne. Wholesome homemade Irish stew will be served and you can soak up the atmosphere with live traditional music on-board.From 12.30pm to 2.30pm.
• St Patrick’s Eve with McPeake, Lyric Theatre, Belfast, March 16. The ‘McPeake Family’ are one of those rare Irish gems and are hailed as ‘folk-royalty.’ Fans describe this band as fresh, authentic, original, and dazzling which makes this a perfect event on St Patrick’s eve. Begins at 7.45pm.
• St Patrick’s Eve Variety Concert, The Lodge Cultural Centre, Castlewellan, Co Down. March 16. Join in on this fun filled concert. With story tellers, comedians, singers and traditional Irish musicians who will have you tapping your feet and humming the night away. This is your chance to enjoy a good night’s entertainment among friends, and enjoy a bowl of Irish stew along with a hot cup of tea. Doors open 7.30pm, Concert starts at 8pm
• Punjana St Patrick’s Tea Dances, Ulster Hall, Bedford Street, Belfast, March 17. Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy an afternoon of old time dancing in the wonderful surroundings of the Ulster Hall including refreshments and music from the ‘John Trotter’ band. Free tickets are available from the Ulster Hall Box Office. Dances begin 12 noon – 2pm and 3pm – 5pm.
• The Legends of American Country, Theatre at The Mill, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, March 18. This show features the music of the biggest names on the American country scene. The performers include Evan O Donnell, Anthony McBrien, and Rod and Tracey McAuley, whose glittering careers span over 30 years. Each singer will perform a string of hits, complete with authentic costumes and in the company of a live five piece band that will include some of Ireland’s top musicians. Begins at 7.45pm.
• Strabane Drama Festival, Alley Theatre, Strabane, Co Tyrone, March 13 – 21. Over nine evenings, the Alley Theatre will come alive with memorable moments that will feature productions from all over Ireland, all eager to take the title of “Best Play”. Begins at 8pm every evening.
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.