Northern Ireland

Belfast to host four days of St Patrick celebrations

Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson (centre) at launch of St Patrick festival programme
Image caption The Lord Mayor of Belfast Gavin Robinson (centre) launched the city's St Patrick festival programme

Belfast's first St Patrick's Festival gets under way later.

The four-day festival has been organised by Belfast City Council.

Events will be happening at venues across Belfast. City Hall will also host a variety of activities.

Former X Factor singer Amelia Lily is headlining a free concert at Custom House Square on Sunday 17 March, with a parade also taking place in the city centre.

The council said the concert at Custom House Square was a non-ticketed event and entry would be on a first come, first served basis with gates opening at 12:00 GMT.

It said a special 'kids' zone' would be created at the Big Fish at Donegall Quay to allow toddlers and younger children to soak up the atmosphere away from the crowds.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Gavin Robinson, said the four-day programme would "be a vibrant and exciting time" for Belfast and that the city was "going to be buzzing".

"The carnival and concert have become an important part of the city's annual celebrations and this year we have even more on offer as we welcome the first St Patrick's festival," he added.

"There really is something for everyone with some fascinating events planned that will explore the story of St Patrick.

A full list of events can be found on the council's website.

The big screen at city hall will show live rugby and GAA action over the St Patrick's Day weekend, as well as films including The Quiet Man and Into the West.

St George's Market will have live themed music and family entertainment throughout the weekend as well as Irish dancing.

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