Visitors to the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh and the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra are being invited to step back in time to enjoy a truly authentic St Patrick’s Day, this Monday 17 March.
Celebrating the Folk Museum’s 50th anniversary this year, the open air site at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum will hold a unique festival of music and crafts, with costumed guides taking visitors back to traditional celebrations of the 19th century with set dancing in the Parochial Hall, basket making and Irish tweed weaving demonstrations.
Ruth Turkington, Visitor Services Manager at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum said; “For a truly authentic look back at how St Patrick’s Day was celebrated in days gone by, the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum has it all.
“The town of Ballycultra will be immersed with the sights and sounds of Irish music and dancing, with all the usual shops, houses and school houses to pop in and out of. The soda bread will be baking on the hearth and our costumed guides are looking forward to welcoming our visitors.”
At the Ulster American Folk Park, visitors can experience the “American Wake”, the celebration that Irish families undertook to say goodbye to their loved ones before they left for America in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Costumed performers will light up the streets of the Old World with song and dance to re-enact the scene that many families would have experienced in years gone by. Richard Hurst, Visitor Services Manager at the Ulster American Folk Park explained; “Although it was a sad time for families whose loved ones were emigrating to America, it was also a chance for them to celebrate and look forward to what lay ahead of them in the New World.
“Our St Patrick’s Day celebrations are a chance for visitors to soak up the lively atmosphere of the “American, or Living Wake” as it was once known, and to learn more about why families emigrated and left Ireland behind in the 1700s.”