26/05/2006

Lord Mayor’s Carnival to ‘Celebrate Belfast’

One of the biggest birthday parties ever staged in Belfast takes to the streets of the city centre at the weekend.

This year’s Lord Mayor’s Carnival, on Saturday May 27, with the theme ‘Celebrate Belfast,’ will focus on the 100th birthday of the city’s most famous and recognisable landmark - the City Hall.

Giant floats, big stilt-costumes and hundreds of performers will take part in the carnival parade, which will feature a giant ‘City Hall’ birthday cake.

Carnival merrymakers dressed as streetscapes from around the city centre, birthday candles and presents will join the distinguished birthday guests such as the Albert Clock and Big Fish.

A well-known mural depicting Belfast industry will come to life through music and banners.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne, sees the event as an opportunity once again to show off the city’s creative talents.

“Over the last three years, the Lord Mayor’s Show has changed and evolved, and it has developed a distinctive carnival feel that allows the creative talent of the city to be put on show for all to see. That is why this year, for the 50th show, we have decided to rename it the Lord Mayor’s Carnival, to more accurately reflect what the show has become – a carnival to remember,” said the Lord Mayor.

BEAT, Belfast’s carnival company, is working with artists, community groups and samba bands to bring this centenary carnival party alive.

Joining the Belfast parade participants, will be carnival bands from all corners of the island of Ireland, including visitors from Inishowen and a Butterfly Ball in Cork – who would clearly go to any lengths for a good party!

The carnival procession once again will follow a circular route between Cathedral Quarter and the City Hall, through the heart of Belfast.

The parade will leave Writer’s Square, opposite St. Anne’s Cathedral, at 1pm and move along Royal Avenue and Donegall Place to the City Hall. It then will do a lap of City Hall before returning to Writer’s Square.

The city centre will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the parade.

There also will be significant disruption in and around the lower Donegall Street area before and after the Show.

Bus services also will be diverted away from Donegall Place and Royal Avenue during the afternoon.

The City Beat road show will entertain the crowds at City Hall from 11:30am, while the hugely popular Continental Market also returns to City Hall grounds for the Bank Holiday weekend.

(SP/EF)

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