Gulliver Travels 'Home' For Belfast Carnival

The iconic Napoleon's Nose - the recognisable feature on Belfast's Cave Hill - that is thought to have inspired Dean Jonathan Swift to write his adventure novel, Gulliver's Travels won't be sniffing at events this weekend.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Tom Hartley, will join hundreds of carnival performers to follow in the footsteps of one of the city's most famous literary creations this weekend.

'Gulliver's Circus' is the theme of Saturday's Belfast City Carnival.

But the giant floats, big stilt-costumes and hundreds of performers is only part of the action, as the story of Jonathan Swift's mythical race of giants from Lilliput are brought back to life for the 21st century.

BEAT, Belfast's carnival company is working with artists and community groups from all across the city to bring the streets alive with colour and sound on Carnival day.

"From voyages to Lilliput and other faraway nations, Gulliver has gathered all sorts of spectacular and fun-filled acts for your entertainment," he said.

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

The carnival will leave Writer's Square, opposite St. Anne's Cathedral, at 1.30pm and move along Royal Avenue and Donegall Place to the City Hall.

It then will do a lap of City Hall before heading back down Donegall Place into Castle Place and on to High Street, then finishing at Custom House Square at around 3pm, where there will be further entertainment from parade performers.

The fun finishes with a special Carnival Party at Lavery's Bunker at 8pm, featuring Mas Y Mas - billed as a meeting of flamenco, Afro-Cuban and reggae influences, woven together by driving dance rhythms – together with The Motion Project and Beat'N'Drum.

Meanwhile, the third annual Belfast Maritime Festival also takes place this weekend, with magnificent tall ships, a Continental Market, the Northern Ireland Seafood Festival and fun and entertainment for all the family at Clarendon Dock, Donegall Quay and Queen's Quay.

The ships will be berthed on both sides of the River Lagan, at Clarendon Dock and Queen's Quay (beside the Odyssey Pavilion). A free shuttle bus service will operate between the two sides of the river.

All the ships will be open to the public between 11am and 5pm each day - although, for operational reasons, access to all of the ships will be subject to certain restrictions.

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